Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Wolves Keeper Happy With Life At The Molineux Stadium: Should Nuno Tie Him Down?

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Abhinab Ghosh
A 26-year-old sports writer and an aspiring football coach who has road-tripped across the Scottish Highlands, but has never been to Wales. Sucker for cliff-hangers and catchy riffs. Known to be a grunger and not to be a stranger.

In a recent interview with the club’s official website, Wolverhampton Wanderers keeper Rui Patricio revealed that he is happy with life at the Molineux Stadium when he said, “I have made the most of this opportunity here in the UK, to play in the best league in the world. I’m very proud to have this opportunity to play at such a big club, with such great conditions to grow into and evolve. It also helps that we have a lot of Portuguese players here.”

Patricio’s Brilliant Spell In English Football So Far

The 32-year-old has been one of the top performers for Wolves since arriving from Sporting CP in the summer of 2018. He has produced several match-winning displays under the tutelage of Nuno Espirito Santo in recent seasons.

Patricio has made a strong start to this Premier League campaign, conceding eight goals and keeping four clean sheets in seven matches for the West Midlands outfit. However, the Portuguese goalie has often preferred to go long with his passes as he is averaging 5.4 long balls per game in league football. Patricio has only made 51.7% of his attempted passes in the English top-flight which is something that he needs to improve if he wants to have a successful campaign at the Molineux Stadium (stats via whoscored).

If the veteran shot-stopper can maintain his high standards in the remainder of this campaign, then it will be logical for Wolves to offer him a new contract so that he can extend his stay beyond 2022 when his current deal comes to an end.

Wolves' Patricio happy with life at the Molineux Stadium (Patricio is in action for Portugal in the photo)
Rui Patricio of Portugal gestures during the international friendly match between Portugal and Spain at Estadio Jose Alvalade on October 7, 2020, in Lisbon, Portugal. (Photo by Octavio Passos/Getty Images)

What Are The Portuguese International’s Best Attributes?

Standing at 1.90m, Patricio can be a towering presence in between the sticks for Wolves and possesses excellent reflexes to make some solid stops at the back. He has a good football IQ that enables him to position himself well inside his penalty box and is proficient at making a few quick dives to get his side out of trouble from time to time.

The 90-time Portugal international has got the experience and winning mindset to help the Midlands outfit stay relevant in European football. However, father time is catching up with him, so it is safe to assume that he is a player on the decline and won’t be a long-term goal-keeping option in Nuno Espirito Santo’s squad.

Should Wolves Tie Patricio Down To New Contract?

Tying the Leiria-born talent to a new deal could be a wise decision for Wolves as he has shown no signs of rust in recent seasons. At 32, Patricio still has a few good years left in his locker to play at top gear. Therefore, Nuno Espirito Santo should strongly consider giving him a pay raise by offering him a fresh contract so that the keeper can give it his all in helping the Midlands side win a major trophy in the years to come.

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