Bruno Lage has been a revelation as the manager of Wolverhampton Wanderers.
He arrived at Molineux as an unknown quantity in English football, much like Nuno Santo when he first came to Wolves.
However, he’s taken no time settling in during his time in the Premier League.
The Portuguese coach overcome a number of problems with his squad, mainly injuries, to lift Wolves to 8th place in the top-flight as they chase after European football.
It now feels like the Old Gold are fully established at this level now but there are a few things they still need to do in order to take themselves to the next level.
One of which is making the squad larger and improving in a number of areas.
Wolves are blessed with plenty of attacking quality but still lack depth in the defensive third, even if they have conceded the third-fewest number of goals (14) in the division this term.
It’s a remarkable record when you consider that they’ve missed Willy Boly for a large portion of the campaign while new signing Yerson Mosquera, and full-backs Jonny and Marcal have all been out injured too.
There is still uncertainty over Nelson Semedo’s long-term future as Wolves’ best option on the right-hand side of defence.
The £84k-per-week defender was blasted a “liability” by Tim Spiers last term and is still suspect defensively. He is always capable of offering a threat going forward but Wolves could perhaps do with a more all-rounded figure in that area of the pitch.
That’s why signing Atletico Madrid’s Kieran Trippier would be a good idea. The England international is someone that Wolves view as a potential signing and according to 90min, they and many other Premier League clubs are asking to be kept up to date with his availability.
If he does sign, then it could finally give Lage the excuse to brutally axe his sometimes calamitous right-back.
Spiers added last season: “So, his [Semedo’s] stats are okay, but his concentration levels don’t look great to me and we were warned about this when Wolves signed him.”
Trippier, on the other hand, is an extremely consistent figure and would give the Old Gold a greater sense of reliability in that position.
He is capped 35 times by England and is held in incredibly high esteem by Gareth Southgate who has previously described the Atletico star as a “warrior.”
Southgate also commented: “People are still seeing the lad that was at Spurs a couple of years ago and not the defensive animal that has grown at Atlético Madrid, trusted by one of the best and most successful coaches in the world.
“He gets his distances right on cover, he’s good one-v-one to stop crosses and his talking is really good.”
Potentially costing £25m this winter, it won’t be a cheap deal but it’s one that Wolves must do in order to establish themselves further and boost their hopes of European football.
After all, if he’s good enough for Simeone, he’s surely good enough for Lage.