Wolves’ midfield is a fine engine room indeed – you’ve got the brawn of Leander Dendoncker, the control of Ruben Neves and some finesse from Joao Mourinho, though it is still lacking in one department.
And it appears that they missed the perfect solution this summer.
According to The Sun’s Alan Nixon last January, the Midlands outfit were “desperate” to sign then-Birmingham City wonderkid Jude Bellingham, but they faced competition from Manchester United as well as teams from within Europe’s top divisions.
The 17-year-old eventually opted for Bundesliga giants Borussia Dortmund in July, joining them in a record-breaking £25m deal and following in the footsteps of Jadon Sancho.
Speaking about the move, BVB sporting director, Michael Zorc, said: “He has enormous potential that we want to develop with him in the coming years. He already has a surprising amount of quality in his own possession as well as against the ball, and on top of that, the player also has a strong mentality.”
The decision to not push for a player that Nuno Santo seemingly was keen to sign has already proven to be a costly mistake.
This week, Bellingham was called up to Gareth Southgate’s England squad for games against Republic of Ireland, Belgium and Iceland. He’s still only 17.
It’s no wonder that this amount of faith has been put in him, as he’s been performing substantially well in Germany since his mega-money switch.
In the Bundesliga alone, Bellingham has averaged two tackles, 1.2 shots, 1.2 dribbles and one key pass per game, via WhoScored.
By comparison, none of the aforementioned Old Gold trio have contributed to a goal in the Premier League this season and only Neves surpasses the young England teen for key passes per game.
Bellingham has even been compared to Steven Gerrard in the past – Jermaine Pennant told talkSPORT (via Bundesliga.com): “He reminds me of a young Steven Gerrard. He throws himself about, he can get up and down the pitch, he can score goals and assist goals, he’s got trickery. He’s a fantastic young player.”
You can’t help but feel that Jeff Shi has missed out big time here, especially when one of his key philosophies revolves around bringing such fantastic potential to Molineux.