Wolves looking hungry ahead of Premier League return

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It’s been a dramatic few years since Wolverhampton Wanderers were last seen in the Premier League.

The Black Country outfit were relegated to the Championship at the end of the 2011-12 campaign. A stint in League One was their nadir.

But in recent seasons, a change of ownership – the club was bought by Fosun International – has seen a revolution at the club. And that culminated in a glorious return to top-flight football, winning the 2017-18 Championship title.

Loans made permanent

Jorge Mendes has been at the forefront of the new movement at Wolves. The Portuguese super agent is a major player in their recruitment process and has overseen a number of savvy purchases.

The loan deals of Diogo Jota, Willy Boly, and Leo Bonatini were made permanent. And what a trio of signings they were last season.

Rui Patricio – alongside Ruben Vinagre – has been the standout signing to date this summer. The Portugal number one is arguably one of European football’s top keepers.

But Mendes and Nuno Espirito Santo are on the verge of topping that particular deal. A £5m fee has been agreed with Monaco for the transfer of fellow Portugal international, Joao Moutinho.

The 31-year-old has long been linked with a move to the Premier League. And it’s Wolves who’ve snapped up the Selecao das Quinas metronome.

Fee Agreed

Moutinho will be expected to slot in alongside another Portuguese ace in Ruben Neves.  Espirito Santo – and Mendes – are quietly putting together a squad packed full of talent. Albeit nearly exclusively Portuguese.

The spine of the squad looks very strong and they’ve got pace and guile on the flanks in the likes of Ivan Cavaleiro and Jota. And we reckon that won’t be the end of their shopping spree just yet.

The squad has got goals all over it, but it’s still a little light in the striking department. We’ll be expecting Mendes to thrash out a deal for another forward in the coming weeks.

Benik Afobe was signed permanently from Bournemouth. But he was swiftly sold to Stoke City two weeks later for £2m profit. A host of goal-getters have been linked but it’ll be a case of waiting to see who Mendes pulls out of the bag.

Wolves are looking strong at the minute. And you can back the Black Country side to finish in the top half of the table this season at 11/10. If you’re as ambitious as the club seem to be, it’s 9/1 they finish in the top-six.

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Cian Carroll

Starting life as a football columnist for his local paper in Dundalk, Cian has written for a number of media outlets with pieces published in The Birmingham Mail and Spain’s El Mundo Deportivo. A lover of football, GAA, boxing, rugby and MMA, he’s a big Aston Villa and Dundalk fan. He can be regularly spotted on various mountain tops.