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Wolves: McKennie can be Lopetegui’s own Gallagher

Wolves could reportedly get the chance to sign Weston McKennie in this month’s transfer window and the USA international could prove to be Julen Lopetegui‘s own version of Conor Gallagher at Molineux.

According to Italian news outlet Calciomercato last month, Juventus are keen on signing Rayan Ait-Nouri in the January window and could offer McKennie as a makeweight in any potential deal for the French defender.

The report claims that if Wolves are to consider a swap deal with the Serie A side, they would have to offer around €15m (£13m) to the Old Lady in order to complete the transfer.

Lopetegui recently lost Boubacar Traore to injury and it seems as if midfield signings are a matter of priority for the Spaniard this month after the arrival of Matheus Cunha on loan from Atletico Madrid.

Since joining Juventus from Schalke in 2020, the versatile midfielder has gone on to make 93 appearances for the Italian giants, contributing 13 goals and four assists in that time, so he has plenty of experience playing at the top level for one of Europe’s biggest clubs.

Still just 24, McKennie could prove to be a great long-term addition at Molineux, providing excellent competition for Joao Moutinho, Ruben Neves and Matheus Nunes in Wolves’ side, so it is easy to see why Lopetegui might consider bringing him to Molineux this month.

When the American starlet was still just a young player coming through the ranks at Schalke, he earned a lot of praise from sporting director Christian Heidel.

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Bruno Lage on the touchline for Wolves.

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He said: “Weston is a very good footballer, but he also has a lot of traits that are very, very important to Schalke. The fans love the way he plays, and the work he puts in. His body language is extraordinary.”

Should he complete a move to Wolves in the current transfer window, he could potentially emulate Chelsea midfielder Conor Gallagher, who lit up the Premier League last season on loan with Crystal Palace.

According to FBref, the England international is the second-most similar player to McKennie when compared with other midfielders across Europe’s top leagues.

The midfield duo appear to be extremely competent in front of goal but most importantly, they are box-to-box players capable of influencing play both offensively and defensively with their strong work rate.

The two youngsters have recorded very similar statistics this season with regard to goals per shot on target (both 0.25), passes leading to a shot (both 13) and recoveries (40 vs 38).

This emphasises that they are both all-action midfielders and given Gallagher’s phenomenal form with Palace last season, which saw him earn an England call-up after hitting eight Premier League goals for the Eagles, then Lopetegui would surely be foolish to turn down such a similar player in McKennie.