Wolverhampton Wanderers will start their new campaign without Nuno Esperito Santo and their new man in charge is Bruno Lage who then returns to the English game after being the assistant manager at Sheffield Wednesday and Swansea City during the time Carlos Carvahal was in charge of those two teams.
Bruno Lage is probably as unknown to the most of as Nuno Esperito Santo was when he took charge at Wolves in the Championship four years ago. There were a grand rise of performance under Santo until last season when key players like Matt Doherty and Diego Jota were sold, and before this campaign they have also parted company with goalkeeper Rui Patricio, who has joined Roma.
To appoint Bruno Lage as their new manager mgiht look a bit risky but with his previous time en English football well documented and in 2019 winning the Portuguise league with Benfica, it would an exotic and interesting engangement. So what will Lage bring to the table?
The 45 year old is among those up and coming football men that has not had a major career himself following the likes of Jose Mourinho, Brendan Rodgers and Maurisio Sarri who had no experience at the level they have gone on to and been at as managers.
Last season ended in 13th place which was a good decline from previous seasons and Europa qualifications, most could be related to those sales described above and also injuries to important players, but do Wolves have the quality to again jump up into the top 7 or 8, doubts are many, to see them in a relegation fight might not either be thinkable, so they will again be in and aroun the same position.Embed from Getty Images
If that is seen as an accepted position who knows, but with the amount of sales done and little or no real big signings on board they need to rely on the expertise of their manager and the key player not picking up injuries. Club captain Conor Coady is still around, and in midfield you have immense quality in Ruben Neves.
World Cup winner Morgan Gibbs-White has added a new year and experience is growing for a player that we have not reached his very best. Rayan Ait-Nouri who joined from Angers might also take steps and another young players to watch during next season.
We do have Spanish international Jonny also in the team and a bit unknown to the pundits as his presence will be seen more and more next season, hopefully getting back from his injury. Also interesting to follow Raul Jimenez and his presence after a long time absent due to that serious head injury, but said to be fully recovered and ready for action.
Still of course rumours running in the media about Adama Traore and his possible exit. Liverpool and Barcelona were said to lead the race but lately a move to Tottenham might be what looks more possible.
The quality in and around the squad at Molinuex should be good enough to build a good season but could be callenging to get anything out of their season opener against Leicester with there Midland neighbour a bit on the fly at the moment, winning monumental tropies such as the FA Cup and the FA Community Shield against quality oppostion.
Pre-season has been a bit of up and down for Wolves with a nice win away to Real Betis, but also seeing defeats at Crewe, Las Palmas and Celta Vigo.Embed from Getty Images
The key for Wolves will be to keep those experienced first team regulars available and not see any major problems appear then it could be a possible chance for a better table position than last year, but all in all with a new manager a few key sales and maybe Traore leaving demanding anything more than mid table would be too much to ask.
There are of course questionsmarks but also positives to find in the set up and with players that do have a major x-factor, you can get a few surprises, let us hope for Wolves sake that it will be happening.
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