Wolves‘ hopes of signing Barcelona midfielder Nico Gonzalez this summer are seemingly over, with the latest reports suggesting that he is on the brink of joining Valencia.
It was suggested earlier in the week that Bruno Lage’s side were in talks with the Catalan club over a move for the 20-year-old, but it seems as if he will remain in Spain for the 2022/23 season.
Fabrizio Romano confirmed on Twitter that: “Valencia will complete Nico deal on Thursday, documents signed with Barcelona and medical scheduled.”
Wolves are still looking quite low on squad depth, particularly in midfield and up front, so losing out on another central midfield target will surely cause Lage to be gutted.
While the Old Gold have so far been able to keep hold of Ruben Neves, while Joao Moutinho signed a new contract at the club, the Portuguese boss is arguably still lacking some creativity in the middle of the park.
Neves and Moutinho managed just three assists in the Premier League between them last season, which suggests that Lage is missing someone who can play that killer through ball.
Having graduated from Barcelona’s La Masia academy, Gonzalez could certainly have added some quality on the ball, emphasised by his WhoScored strengths of through balls, dribbling and passing.
Dubbed “spectacular” by Cesc Fabregas, the 20-year-old is clearly a hot talent. As per FbRef, he scored in the 99th percentile for dribbling, 96th percentile for progressive carries and 94th percentile for progressive passes received, which shows that he is exceptionally adept at carrying the ball forward and making an impact in attacking areas.
By comparison, Neves would score in the 51st percentile for progressive carries, and the 18th percentile for progressive passes received, which suggests that he does not get forward nearly as much, and Lage could have definitely benefitted from someone like Gonzalez in his side.
While Connor Ronan and Morgan Gibbs-White could be the answer for Lage, neither have shown much in the Premier League in the past, with the latter scoring just once and supplying one assist in 47 top-flight appearances. Therefore, if that doesn’t work out again this season, then the Portuguese boss may end up feeling that Wolves should have pushed harder to sign Gonzalez.