Instead of the usual single pre-season friendly being played at Molineux ahead of the league curtain raiser, 16 days before the Premier League was due to begin, Nuno Espirito Santo’s side faced a Europa League qualifier against last season’s fourth place finishers in the Northern Irish Premiership, Belfast outfit Crusaders. For teams playing European qualifiers for the first time, balancing Europa League and Premier League has always been difficult. As Wolves prepares for their knockout round stage as well as premier league europa qualification, transfer window may have come at right time for them.
Nuno Espirito Santo said “This window is not the best one to do things, but we need to. The way we work is not going to change. We have a small squad and we have the back-up of the under-23 when unfortunately things don’t work out in numerous aspects. So we look first inside of the squad for our back-ups. If we truly believe those back-ups can grow and reach the level we expect them to compete in the way we do it, we have to look at it. If we don’t have those clear options, we must go to the transfer window. It’s difficult, because sometimes the club doesn’t want to (sell), but we have to work and we are working on it, and I am positive it’s going to happen. Just to clarify, when I say ‘we need’ it’s not a message…we as a club have a clear way of operating since the beginning. This is a building process. We are building something. I think we already have a good team, but we need to improve. This is not going to change. We’re not going to turn away and start looking for things that can change us, because our philosophy will not change; we are building and we trust the back-ups. This is not just this season but the season before and the Championship also.”
Nuno is confident Wolves will recruit this month as they aim to replace striker Patrick Cutrone and boost their attack. Nuno also revealed Wolves will look within before recruiting as he recalled Ryan Giles back from a season-long loan spell at Shrewsbury as cover for Diogo Jota (calf) and Ruben Vinagre (hamstring).
Nuno Espirito Santo wants to see changes to the handball law after Wolves’ VAR woes.Wolves have had three goals chalked off by the video officials due to the new rule that was implemented for the 2019-20 season.
Nuno said: “For sure, yes, there’s going to be a review. I’m encouraged by everyone involved – the managers, the players, the fans, press – everybody is seeing that it’s not OK. If it’s not OK, we have to take different measures and change it. We are talking about the handball rule, not VAR, but the rule is the rule, so let’s not be mistaken but it has to change and it will change, for sure. It’s not only me, everybody speaks about it. But of course we have suffered more because all the decisions have been against us. It’s too much.”
VAR decisions against as of Dec 2019
- Sheffield United – VAR decisions against = 7
- West Ham – VAR decisions against = 6
- Wolves – VAR decisions against = 6
- Norwich – VAR decisions against = 5
- Chelsea – VAR decisions against = 5
- Tottenham – VAR decisions against = 4
- Arsenal – VAR decisions against = 3
- Leicester – VAR decisions against = 3
- Man City – VAR decisions against = 3
- Aston Villa – VAR decisions against = 2
- Brighton – VAR decisions against = 2
- Burnley – VAR decisions against = 2
- Crystal Palace – VAR decisions against = 2
- Everton – VAR decisions against = 2
- Liverpool – VAR decisions against = 2
- Bournemouth – VAR decisions against = 1
- Manchester United – VAR decisions against = 1
- Southampton – VAR decisions against = 1
- Watford – VAR decisions against = 1
Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo recalled Ryan Giles’ from Shrewsbury due to Ruben Vinagre’s hamstring injury.
Nuno Espirito Santo said “It has to do with the injury of Vinagre. That is a massive blow for us. Vinagre is very special for us. He gives us something that we need. Ryan Giles is expected to start on Wolves’ bench for Saturday’s Premier League clash at Southampton. We recalled him because we trust him. He comes to help. Hopefully he will improve and he can help boost competition.”
Versatile left-wing back and forward Vinagre pulled up in the 1-0 FA Cup defeat at Manchester United on Wednesday night. Nuno would not reveal a time-frame but says the Portuguese ace will be out for ‘some time’ as he explained 19-year-old Giles’ return from League One side Shrewsbury Town.
Patrick Cutrone has admitted that he holds no grudges over his short spell at Wolves, insisting it made him ‘grow as a man and as a player’.
Patrick Cutrone said “At Wolves it was a great experience, I learned many things, in training I learned a lot. It was a new culture, I grew as a man and as a player.”
Wolves are now on the hunt for a replacement. Leonardo Campana – a 19-year-old Ecuadorian centre forward and client of Jorge Mendes – is thought to be close to be signing.
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