With the transfer window now just days away from completing, it feels unlikely that Wolves will be doing too much more.
Landing a striker was their utmost priority and in Willian Jose, they found what they were looking for. However, could more incomings be afoot?
According to a report from the Mirror, Ainsley Maitland-Niles is ready to quit Arsenal this month in a bid to find regular first-team football ahead of the Euros.
Premier League clubs have now been put on red alert about his availability and Wolves are one club who may find themselves in a bidding war. They failed with a ploy to sign the versatile 23-year-old in October but the report states they could resurrect their interest in the coming days.
The Athletic later revealed that West Brom are chasing his signature while an unnamed top four club are also in the race to sign him on a loan deal.
Nuno Santo’s men were in hot pursuit of the player during the last transfer window and if Maitland-Niles is indeed available, they must revisit their swoop.
The fact is that Jeff Shi could land Wolves their dream player here. He’s young and fits into their strategy of crafting players for the future, while he can play in a whole host of positions.
After starring in the middle of the park for Arsenal in the Europa League earlier this term, Martin Keown commented: “He impressed me, it looks so easy for him at times and you can tell he’s got gears. You rarely get a player with his pace in that role. I would have loved that as a player. He’s a Rolls-Royce of a player at times.”
That being said, it’s his ability to play at wing-back on either side of the pitch that makes him such a valuable option. Wolves saw firsthand the qualities he can offer in that role when they suffered a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Arsenal last season.
Maitland-Niles replaced Kieran Tierney with 34 minutes to go and absolutely bullied Adama Traore. The Spaniard struggled down the right flank and completed just 50% of his dribbles.
That was largely due to the display of the Arsenal youngster. He completed an eye-catching four tackles which despite his minimal time on the pitch, was the joint-best of Mikel Arteta’s team in the entire game.
Traore is usually someone who relishes a physical battle but he won just nine of 21 ground duels he was involved in, enduring a nightmare game where he missed two guilt-edged opportunities to score.
It’s incredibly rare that someone unsettles the winger but that’s what Maitland-Niles achieved.
Stuart Pearce recognised that too, telling talkSPORT (14/09/20): “I saw him last season against Wolves and he was up against the big lad Adama Traore. He was brilliant and coped really well up against him.”
Considering his versatility and ability to cope in one-on-one situations, this would be an ideal acquisition for Wolves. That’s especially with Marcal, Jonny and Rayan Ait-Nouri all out injured at left-wing back.