New Wolverhampton Wanderers manager Julen Lopetegui has already moved to strengthen his squad ahead of the January transfer window, with the experienced Spaniard having overseen the club-record addition of Matheus Cunha from Atletico Madrid.
That £43m capture – which will initially be a loan move – will officially be confirmed when the market re-opens next month, albeit with Lopetegui having already provided his thoughts on the deal.
The Wolves boss stated: “It is clear that he is going to be with us, but it will happen once the market is open. He is going to be our player. He’s a good player, I know him. I think he’s a good signing for us, for the present and also for the future.
“He is a very complete forward. He has a good condition, good skills. Not only technically, but physically. In the Premier League you have to be a very complete forward to survive. I think he has the profile to play here for a lot of years and we will help him develop his strengths in the future.”
The Brazilian arrives in England following a disappointing start to the campaign in Spain, registering just two assists in 17 games across all fronts. Prior to that, however, the 23-year-old had impressed for Diego Simeone’s side, registering 12 goal involvements in 29 La Liga outings last term.
The eight-cap sensation had enjoyed an eye-catching spell at Hertha Berlin prior to that, scoring 13 goals and registering ten assists in just 40 games across all fronts as a marker of his devastating brilliance in the final third.
The addition of such an exciting asset would seemingly help to ease the Old Gold’s centre-forward woes, with summer signing Sasa Kalajdzic currently out with a long-term injury and Raul Jimenez having endured his own fitness woes of late.
Throw veteran marksman Diego Costa into that mix – who is yet to score for the Midlands club – and it is clear just why there has been such a desire to get Cunha in the door as soon as possible, with the hope being that the one-time RB Leipzig man can hit the ground running.
That said, Cunha will be in need of quality creative service if he is to shine at Molineux, with Lopetegui potentially able to form a truly lethal partnership by bringing experienced playmaker Isco to the club.
The current free agent – who recently saw his contract terminated by Lopetegui’s former club Sevilla – has been tipped for a reunion with his compatriot at Wolves, with reports in Spain even suggesting that the 30-year-old would be receptive to the idea of such a move.
The 38-cap Spain international had enjoyed a stellar spell at fellow La Liga side Real Madrid prior to this recent brief stint in Andalusia, having scored 53 goals and registered 56 assists in 353 games in all competitions for Los Blancos.
Lauded as a “special” talent by former Real Madrid boss Santiago Solari, the 5 foot 10 dynamo offers a real creative spark in his playmaking berth, making him the ideal man to provide the goods to Cunha in attack.
That quality was notably praised by another of his former managers in Zinedine Zidane, with the iconic Frenchman having previously stated: “I really like Isco a lot because he is a creative player. He’s never afraid to try and pull something off and players who are willing to try are always successful”.
That skill in possession can also be evidenced by the fact that the one-time Malaga ace ranks in the top 5% in Europe among those in his position for pass completion in 2022. He is also a master of winning back possession high up the pitch as he ranks in the top 3% for interceptions.
Such traits should well make him a player that Cunha would love to work alongside, and fashioning such a stellar duo at Molineux would likely prove hugely profitable as far as Lopetegui is concerned in Wolves’ quest to stave off the drop.