Wolverhampton Wanderers have been handed a boost in their race to sign Sporting CP midfielder Joao Palhinha this summer.
However, there’s good news as Leverkusen seem unable to pay the asking price that Sporting have set for the player. The report states that the club will only be willing to let the player leave for a fee of €20m (£17m) or €25m (£21.2m).
This will be a boost to the Old Gold as they could outbid the other contenders and land the highly-rated midfielder.
Former footballer Paul Ince was a key player for Wolves during a four year spell at the West Midlands club between 2002 and 2006. He made 127 appearances in that time and directly contributed to 15 goals.
It might have been towards the end of his career but he brought great experience and quality with him. He was noted for being a ‘powerful’ character who ‘got the best’ out of others and wasn’t scared of getting stuck in.
Also described as an ‘enforcer’ who was adept both in a defensive and offensive capacity, the same can very much be said for Palhinha, and in signing him, Wolves can repeat their capture of Ince all those years ago.
If you look at his stats compared to his positional peers in Europe’s top five leagues over the past year, he ranks in the top 4% for tackles in the midfield third.
This shows how he aggressive he can be which is similar to Ince in many ways. He also ranks in the top 1% for pressures in the midfield third which proves that he gives his opponent hardly any time on the ball which Bruno Lage will love.
With that in mind, it’s hardly a surprise that he’s been described as “special” by Sporting manager Ruben Amorim.
If Jeff Shi and co can capture him then it will massively improve their options in the middle of the park. He offers something different, more old-school compared to the fancy intricate displays we see from many midfielders nowadays.
They’ll face tough competition, and rightly so given how good Palhinha is, but it will be worth every penny if they can pull it off.