It seems clear that the manager is keen to recruit a new right-back in the January transfer window, with Nelson Semedo having proved himself to be a defensive liability on far too many occasions during his spell at Molineux.
Wan-Bissaka was one name touted as a potential option for the Old Gold, with a loan deal reportedly still on the cards despite him finally breaking into Erik ten Hag’s side following the World Cup break.
It has also been suggested (The Mirror, 08/01, page 77; via Molineux News) in recent days that Lopetegui could look to rescue Spence from Tottenham Hotspur, with the young right-back having barely featured since his summer move from Middlesbrough.
However, the Wolves manager should be targeting Premier League-proven players this month in order to distance his side from any relegation battle in the second half of the campaign, rather than a 22-year-old who is yet to start for Antonio Conte’s team this season.
Spence would also arrive with apparent disciplinary issues, which saw Neil Warnock loan out the young defender during his spell at Middlesbrough, despite him clearly having the talent to make it at the top.
Wan-Bissaka might have been exiled by Ten Hag in the first half of the season but he has shown his class in the absence of Diego Dalot in recent weeks, helping the Red Devils to four consecutive clean sheets and averaging a strong 6.85 rating from WhoScored for his performances in the Premier League.
This would rank him ahead of every player in Wolves’ squad except Ruben Neves, so it is clear that the right-back still possesses the quality to potentially be a big hit at Molineux in the second half of the campaign.
While Spence excels at the attacking side of the game, with WhoScored listing dribbling as one of his main strengths, Wan-Bissaka would help to make Lopetegui’s side far more defensively secure, excelling at tackling, interceptions and blocking.
It is no surprise that Scott Guyett, his former coach at Crystal Palace, described the 25-year-old as “very powerful” when you consider the Manchester United man’s defensive attributes, and he could be exactly what Lopetegui needs in order to get the Old Gold’s defence back to its best.
Therefore, the Wolves manager should prioritise a move for Wan-Bissaka over Spence in this month’s transfer window, as the former represents a much more experienced (135 Premier League appearances to four) and far less risky option.