Wolverhampton Wanderers will be looking to continue their rise in English football and their thumping run in the Championship last season have put them as favourites to survive the drop. Many are even of the opinion that the club can fight for a place in the top half of the table and rightly so as the club seems to have all bases covered
Ever since Fosun took over, the club has been ambitious and smart in the transfer market. Given the connections which Nuno Santo has with super-agent Jorge Mendes, he has helped him in snapping up some big players from top clubs. Last season, they had 5-6 players on loan who played a crucial part in their qualification to the Premier League. This season they have gone on to make a permanent move for the likes of Digo Jota and Willy Boly who were on loan last season.
The West Midlands club was pretty much unchallenged in the Championship, however, one doesn’t expect the Premier League to be a cakewalk. Though, the signings which the club has made, they surely will be one of the teams to watch out for.
Nuno Espirito Santo will be expected to deploy his usual 3-4-3 formation which brought him a lot of success last season. The team was especially threatening on counter attacks as wide players like Ivan Cavaleiro and Diogo Jota were instrumental. Along with that, the Portuguese manager went on to use a system of three at the back with Conor Coady in the heart of the defence. The fullbacks were turned into wingbacks and both the wingbacks used to drive forward when presented with an opportunity. The team played a high pressing game especially when the opposition tried to build up from their half. Another plus point of this formation is; when not in possession, the team easily switches to a 5-4-1 formation. One doesn’t expect that Santo will tinker with this in the Premier League, however, he can expect some better challenge as top-flight clubs will be more adept at beating their press.
John Ruddy did a decent job last season, however, the club when presented with an opportunity to sign Rui Patricio, grabbed it with both hands. On top of that, the move didn’t cost a penny as the player had terminated his contract with Sporting CP. The Portuguese international is a massive step up from Ruddy and he will be expected to start in goal.
Coady will start in central defence with the likes of Ryan Bennett and Willy Boly playing on either side of him. Along with being a top defender, Coady is comfortable on the ball and that is why he often falls deep to take the ball and start the attack from there. Willy Boly was on loan last season but Santo has gone on to sign him on a permanent basis.
Barry Douglas will be a big loss for the Santo as he went on to join Leeds United, however, another loan move is likely to come to his rescue as Jonny Castro of Atletico Madrid will be expected to start in the left wingback role. Having signed just this season for the Spanish giants, Diego Simeone had no qualms in sending him on loan to the English club. Matt Doherty will reprise his usual role in the right wing-back spot.
Ruben Neves is likely to have a new partner in midfield in Joao Moutinho and the Portuguese duo can run riot when on the ball as both of them are extremely good in picking out their team-mates. Maybe Moutinho will be rotated as he might not have the legs to last the 90 minutes in the Premier League every game so we can also see Romain Saiss in midfield.
Ivan Cavaleiro and Diogo Jota will attack from the wings and they are likely to have a new man to lead the line in Raul Jimenez who was snapped up on loan from Portuguese giants Benfica.
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