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Wolves could repeat Semedo disaster with Ivan Fresneda

Wolverhampton Wanderers have been linked with Real Valladolid right-back Ivan Fresneda recently and his arrival at Molineux could be a potential repeat of the disastrous deal to sign Nelson Semedo in 2020.

According to Estadio Deportivo, the 18-year-old’s stock is really beginning to rise after some impressive performances in Spain, with the teenage defender complimentary of Julen Lopetegui amid links with the Old Gold.

The Spain U19 international has made just 13 senior appearances in his career but is also said to be attracting interest from the likes of Arsenal, Juventus and Borussia Dortmund as a result of his rapid progression under Juan José Rojo Martín at Valladolid, with any deal likely to set back interested sides around £18m.

In his nine appearances in the Spanish top flight so far this campaign, the teenager has averaged a solid 6.73 rating from WhoScored for his performances, registering an impressive 3.2 tackles per game, which is also the most of any player in Valladolid’s squad.

FBref suggests that Fresneda ranks in the top percentile for defenders across Europe when it comes to tackling, and it is here where his similarities with Semedo begin, as the Portuguese right-back also scores impressively in this metric.

The same website suggests that the former FC Barcelona man is the most similar player to Fresneda when compared with other full-backs across Europe’s top leagues, which doesn’t bode well for Wolves when you consider how much Semedo has struggled in his time at Molineux.

Despite his tackling ability, he has been exposed as a defensive “liability” – in the words of The Athletic’s Tim Spiers – on a number of occasions in a Wolves shirt, producing a disasterclass in the defeat against Brighton before the World Cup break, as he was sent off for a rash last man tackle.

This season has seen the two defenders register remarkably similar numbers with regard to expected goals per 90 (both 0.01), passes that led to a shot (both 15) and interceptions (both 13).

This emphasises that while both players can be trusted to make a good tackle, neither offers much going forward, which suggests that the Spaniard could follow in Semedo’s footsteps at Molineux and considering the 29-year-old has averaged a shocking 6.43 rating from WhoScored this season, that can hardly be a good sign.

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Bruno Lage on the touchline for Wolves.

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While Fresneda is regarded as a “very special talent” – in the eyes of ESPNUK’s David Cartlidge – and undoubtedly has the potential to go far, his similar style of play to Semedo suggests that Wolves could be heading for another disaster if they were to sign him this month.