This is a massive summer for a number of players at Wolverhampton Wanderers.
One of the biggest decisions on the 45-year-old’s hands in the opening months of his tenure is what happens to Ruben Neves.
With finances limited at Molineux, he is seen as one of their most expendable assets.
Talks are reportedly underway with Arsenal but if he does go, it will leave a big void of quality in the middle of the park.
Neves has been the quarterback in this Wolves team since their final campaign in the Championship and he’s gone from strength to strength since.
He is now a regular member of the Portugal squad and could be replaced by one of his international colleagues if he departs.
Sporting Lisbon midfielder Joao Palhinha has been linked in a record-breaking switch but if they choose to save money instead, they should look towards Taylor Perry.
The 20-year-old signed a new deal with Wolves last week and with a number of players rested following the European Championships, he could earn a chance to impress Lage.
Speaking after he renewed his contract, Scott Sellars commented: “He’s now got an opportunity to train with the first-team – we’ll let the manager see him and then we’ll make a decision on his next step.
“There are a lot of players away at the Euros, so for the first couple of weeks he’s going to have an opportunity to train and play, so hopefully he can show the manager what he can do.
Sellars concluded: “At the end of that period we’ll have a chat with the manager, see who he wants in his squad, and it may be that Taylor stays or it may be that he goes out on loan.”
Perry has previously described himself as a player in the Moutinho mould but given the way he can strike a ball from range, there are clear similarities with Neves.
As of August 2019, the Portuguese had scored ten goals from outside of the box for Wolves. That tally was only bettered Harry Wilson (12) and Christian Eriksen (11) since Neves’ debut in English football.
Perry only has three senior appearances to his name but like Neves, he’s proven himself capable of finding the net.
He scored a sublime free-kick against Crystal Palace last October after starting the campaign in red-hot fashion for the U23s.
Crucially, he isn’t afraid to get stuck in and do the dirty work either. During the 2019/20 EFL Trophy, he completed a robust three tackles per match. He also won 15 defensive duels across his three outings in the competition last term.
A quality all-round prospect, Lage would be wise to have a look at him throughout pre-season. He could just be the Neves replacement Wolves are searching for.