Julen Lopetegui looks set to take over as Wolves boss in the coming days but a tough job for the Spaniard will arguably get even harder after the sale of Leonardo Campana.
The former Real Madrid and Sevilla boss is currently in talks with the Wolves board about taking over at Molineux, nearly a month after the sacking of Bruno Lage.
He will likely arrive at Molineux ahead of the World Cup in the hope that he can get the Old Gold out of the relegation places in the Premier League after a woeful start to the season which has returned just two wins in the top flight.
The main problem for Wolves this season has been scoring goals, as they have notched just six in the top flight, with injuries to Raul Jimenez, Sasa Kalajdzic and Pedro Neto causing huge problems for the Midlands club.
Wolves’ lack of consistency in front of goal is even more frustrating when you consider that Lage loaned out both Fabio Silva and Leonardo Campana during his time in charge, with the two strikers having hit a combined 22 goals for Anderlecht and Inter Miami respectively.
To make matters worse, Wolves included a buy option in Inter Miami’s deal for Campana, and it now seems as if the 22-year-old will complete a permanent move to MLS, having never made an appearance for Wolves’ first team.
Express and Star journalist Liam Keen confirmed the news on Twitter, writing:
“Leonardo Campana’s permanent move to Inter Miami is set to go through after the MLS club activated the buy clause, which is around £2.5m.”
While it is difficult to judge whether or not Campana would have been a success in the Premier League, he clearly knows where the back of the net is having scored 16 times in America. Thus, the sale of another striker is surely going to be an early blow for Lopetegui’s hopes of turning Wolves’ fortunes in front of goal around.
Inter Miami boss Phil Neville was full of praise for the Ecuadorian striker earlier this year, saying:
“It’s his moment. I watched him play for Ecuador in the under-20 World Cup and you can see there’s a player there. You can see by the size of him, the sheer physicality of him, he’s got everything you need in a good old-fashioned centre-forward.
“He’s a young kid, but you think about his goal at Austin, that was a brilliant goal. That’s four goals now. I really like him and he knows that I believe in him.”
The praise didn’t stop there for the Ecuadorian, who harbours hopes of going to Qatar this month. Neville once dubbed the player “undroppable” while saying: “I think he knows he’s in a rich vein of form and I keep telling him every single day, it’s his time. It’s his time.
“He is going to be a top player. We want him to go to the World Cup. That’s his goal.”
A physical striker with a consistent goalscoring record is arguably everything that Wolves and their prospective head coach need right now and it seems a big error that he is being allowed to leave without ever getting a game.
Indeed, his departure will arguably only make things even harder for Lopetegui amid his impending arrival at Molineux.