Wolves are enjoying an interesting summer so far after Bruno Lage came in to replace Nuno Santo at Molineux.
It was a surprise departure but the man who succeeded their head coach of four years ticked all of the boxes.
The Old Gold had tracked Lage for a considerable period of time and with Jorge Mendes his agent, it made a move seamless.
Lage’s first marquee signing was Trincao from Barcelona but he faces a potential excruciating end to the summer.
That’s because a number of the club’s top players including Adama Traore and Ruben Neves could be heading for the departure lounge.
The latter has been one of the stand out players for the Midlands outfit since signing when they were still in the Championship.
He’s gone from the second tier’s record signing to a reliable and consistent former. Neves was often the quarterback in Nuno’s Wolves team but began to pick up pockets further forward last season.
The Portugal international scored five times last term, the highest volume of goals he’s racked up since his debut in English football.
Therefore, the new manager will need to replace him with not only a player capable of breaking up the play but also one that’s effective in the final third.
One replacement could be Chelsea midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek.
The England international spent last season on loan at relegated Fulham but Thomas Tuchel isn’t particularly keen on sending him out again.
The Blues are planning on taking a look at him over pre-season but Wolves legend Steve Bull reckons he’s a player that would fit in well at Molineux.
Speaking exclusively to Football FanCast last month, Bull said: “He’d be ideal, I’ve watched him quite a few times and he’s big, sturdy, not afraid to put his foot in or put his head where it hurts. If they were to bring him in I’d take him all day long.”
Loftus-Cheek is a classic box to box midfielder, using his long levers and energetic style to get from one end of the pitch to the other in the blink of an eye.
That said, he disappointed last term with the Cottagers, averaging a WhoScored match rating of only 6.5.
Though, in the words of Scott Parker, he is “unplayable” on his day. Like Neves, the midfielder is incredibly assured in possession of the ball, competing over 90% of his passes in two seasons for Chelsea.
Furthermore, he knows how to make an impact offensively. Loftus-Cheek bagged ten times during the 2018/19 campaign, being hailed as an “unstoppable force” by Owen Hargreaves after scoring a Champions League hat-trick.
The 25-year-old’s progress in the last few years has been dented by injury but he is a brutal midfielder once he gets going.
Loftus-Cheek is an adequate tackler and when it comes to replacing Neves, that will be one of the basic requirements.
On a wage of £150k-per-week, he will have to significantly reduce his salary in order to move to Midlands.
If he can rediscover his form, something Bull tipped him to do in a recent interview with This is Futbol, he’d be a solid capture.