It’s been a rocky ride for Rayan Ait-Nouri at Wolverhampton Wanderers so far this season.
The summer arrival from Angers SCO has gone from hero-to-zero in the space of just one week – scoring the opener against Crystal Palace before being particularly error-prone against Leicester City this afternoon.
Nuno Santo’s side went into the match on the back of an unbeaten four-game run but that came crashing down against their local rivals, the Foxes.
Max Kilman was adjudged to have handled inside the area for Jamie Vardy’s first spot-kick in the 15th minute, though he missed his second penalty chance nearly 25 minutes later after Ait-Nouri clattered into Justin James.
It wasn’t the only mistake from the young 19-year-old though.
Per SofaScore, he lost possession 15 times, won just three of eight duels (37.5%), made just 50% of his crosses and recorded only one successful dribble from three attempts.
BirminghamLive graded Ait Nouri’s display a paltry 4/10 and said: “We saw the good of Ait-Nouri against Palace last week and today we saw the bad and the ugly. His positioning in the build-up to Leicester’s second penalty was bad, and his attempted recovery challenge on Justin was incredibly ugly.”
TalkingWolves were more scathing in their verdict, calling his error a “braindead decision.”
There were already plenty of questions marks about the youngster going into the match defensively too.
It was something that his manager pointed out despite his attacking contribution against the Eagles, claiming: “The goal was focused on, but this is not what we look at. He has a lot of things to work on. He has to have the knowledge and the main idea of the shape of the team.”
No other Wolves player recorded a lower rating than Ait-Nouri (6.1) and given Marcal’s short but encouraging impact, it’s a swap Nuno may consider after the international break.
It may have just been an off afternoon, but clearly, the raw teenager has plenty left to learn before he cements his place down in a Europe-chasing Premier League starting XI.
AND in other news, Jeff Shi’s summer decision is his biggest Wolves mistake yet…