Bruno Lage has an almighty job on his hands to improve this Wolves side.
Handed the keys to Molineux this week, he faces the task of rebuilding a squad who could lose some of their best players this summer.
Wolves are set to lose Ruben Neves in the coming months, with Arsenal courting the Portuguese midfielder ahead of a potential move.
There could also be exits in defence. Max Kilman’s future in the Midlands was uncertain during Nuno Espirito Santo’s tenure, while Romain Saiss’ time at Wolves is also shrouded in doubt. He has been linked with a move to France, where Rennes are interested in prising him away from the Premier League.
The Old Gold should have been searching for alternatives anyway judging by their defensive record in 2020/21, but this gives them an extra excuse to spend some money.
They conceded 52 goals in the league last term, just one fewer than relegated Fulham and six more than 16th-placed Brighton. During a period between October and January, they kept only two clean sheets in 14 outings.
Willy Boly and Conor Coady can still be relied upon but there is a sense that a third dependable centre-back is required.
This week Wolves were linked with a move for Dael Fry, via Football League World. The Middlesbrough defender boasts a passing success rate of just 69.2% throughout his career but he would be an almighty upgrade in aerial situations.
The 23-year-old stands at a colossal height of 6 foot 4 and uses that to his advantage to bully opponents to one side. In the Championship this season, Fry won an impressive 6.3 aerial duels per match, the highest seasonal tally of his career to date.
The defender prevailed in 200 aerial battles last term, ranking him as the 12th best centre-back in the entire Championship.
That enormous tally usurps every single player at Wolves by a grand total of 115. Leander Dendoncker won the most with just 85 in comparison, while Boly’s average of 2.7 per match was the highest in that regard.
Described as a player who “has everything” by former Boro manager Aitor Karanka, Fry is a defender who appears to be improving all the time.
He needs to work on his distribution but he could offer some much-needed physicality to Lage’s backline. Boly offers that already, but a combination of the two would seem fearsome at Molineux.
A deal could also be done cheaply, with the Middlesbough centre-half rated at just £6.3m by Transfermarkt. Considering that Wolves have little to spend this summer, that would work out nicely for Jeff Shi and Fosun.