Pedro Neto’s injury at Wolves may well prove crucial for a number of reasons.
First and foremost, it has put a significant dampener on a campaign where injuries have been rife all season long for the Old Gold.
Secondly, it could rule him out of the start of next term and finally, it may stop him from moving elsewhere during the summer.
As Neto was taken from the field after just half an hour of their clash with Fulham, the club’s worst fears were confirmed soon after. The 21-year-old had broken his knee cap and was now set to miss the next six months of action.
It’s a huge blow but it would be even more devastating if they lost him permanently. Before the Portuguese suffered that injury, he’d been linked with a mega £50m move to Manchester United.
However, if and when he moves will now be dependant on the timescale of his injury. If Neto returns quicker than usual then we could well see him at Old Trafford next season.
Should that happen, Wolves will need to find a replacement.
Nuno Santo and co could do much worse than target Peterborough’s Siriki Dembele, somebody touted with a switch earlier this season. The attacker is out of contract in a few months time and as a result, won’t cost Wolves a single penny if they try to sign him.
We’ve already compared Dembele to former Wolves man Bakary Sako because of his exploits in League One but you sense the former’s potential and ceiling are far greater.
Capable of playing through the middle or on the flanks, he’d make a wonderful replacement for Neto. He is bright, energetic and can score and create in equal measure.
He is an artist on the ball and in much the same way Neto does, the Peterborough forward beats players for fun.
Speaking exclusively to Football FanCast a few weeks ago, Posh director of football Barry Fry told readers to “watch this space” in a relation to a bid and ongoing contract negotiations.
That was after handing the player a phenomenal review; “Siriki can get the ball in his own half and with dazzling dribbling ability, he can beat four or five players and score a wonder goal or cross it for somebody else to score,” he began.
Fry added: “He’s very, very exciting. He’s got the best stats outside the [English] Premier League, I think.”
Looking towards a player who has been plying their trade in League One this season might not be the smartest of ideas on paper but if one thing is clear, it’s that Dembele is a weapon.
Signing him on a free transfer is low risk and would be particularly shrewd for a player of his qualities.