Where do Wolves need to strengthen in January?

January transfer windows can be especially challenging for teams looking to strengthen, as few sides want to sell their best players. If a player is surplus to requirements, there is often a good reason for that, whether that be form, fitness or attitude. 

However, with the 2023-24 reporting period for FFP concluding in March, some clubs will look to balance the books, and often all it takes is one transfer to create a snowball of movement across the leagues. 

With that in mind, we look at where Wolves might want to do business this month, and where they might defer to the summer. 



A duo of Jose Sa and Dan Bentley may not inspire the most confidence in fans, but with a small budget (according to Sky reporter, Johnny Phillips), this feels less pressing than other positions. Although Sa is prone to baffling decision-making, he is otherwise a relatively safe pair of hands for a mid-table side. Moreover, upsetting a reasonably stable defence might not be wise mid-season. 



Rayan Ait-Nouri has left for the African Cup of Nations and potentially misses several games with his impressive Algerian national team. However, between Hugo Bueno and Toti Gomes, there is adequate cover at left back.

At centre-back, Craig Dawson, Max Kilman and Santi Bueno represent three robust options, and we know that Toti can slot in there too. Long-term, we will need a Dawson replacement, who will not last forever, and the rumour mill is awash linking Kilman with moves. Unless there is a serious injury or departure, a CB signing can wait until summer. 

Right back is Nelson Semedo’s spot, and well-earned. However, with Matt Doherty as the one cover, I wouldn’t rule out Wolves being open to a young deputy for Semedo in the market, if the right deal arose. 



Despite losing Boubacar Traore to the AFCON, Wolves have a lot of central or holding options between Mario Lemina, Jean-Ricner, Joao Gomes, Joe Hodge and Tommy Doyle. The partnership of Lemina and Gomes in particular has looked really robust this season. 

In the more advanced positions, Pablo Sarabia and Jean-Ricner Bellegarde have both impressed, and our recent goal-scoring suggests that our creativity is not a major issue. Sarabia will not be with us forever, but that is perhaps a consideration for the summer. 

It is in wide positions that Wolves feel a lack of depth. There is overlap here with the forwards, but losing the prolific Hee-Chan Hwang to the Asian Cup may need addressing. Hwang, who is probably best suited off a central striker has been shunted out wide to cover our lack of options, as has Ait-Nouri. 

With Pedro Neto as the only genuine wide man, there is a lot of pressure on a player returning from injury. Gary O’Neil has already highlighted the need for support in this area, and Wolves will likely be in the market to create a more balanced forward line. They will also be mindful that Neto will have a number of suitors in the summer, and may want to blood his replacement early. 



Fabio Silva has gone on loan to Rangers and Sasa Kalajdzic to Eintracht Frankfurt for the reason for the season. That just leaves the impressive Matheus Cunha to lead the line. O’Neil has been vocal that Cunha is not a true number 9 and would flourish in a freer role. Again, the rumour mill has linked us with a lot of traditional number 9s who would ease Cunha’ burden and free him up in a more supportive role. 

However, getting a prolific striker in January on a limited budget can be a real challenge. Even with the best will in the world from Messrs. O’Neil, Shi and Hobbs, the right option might not emerge in this window. Recent form might mean that the board will be more sanguine about this possibility, and sustainable financial practice is unlikely to be shucked in a panic over this. 


Brammal Lane

Sheffield United 2-1 Wolves: 5 Things We Learnt

A performance that was deserving of a loss as it often tends to be when Wolves face off the sides that are struggling in the bottom half of the table. Although the penalty that was awarded and converted by Sheffield was very debatable the same as the penalty awarded in the last matchday vs Newcastle.


Lack of firepower

Not terrible in the first half but we never managed to pull the trigger as we looked like we wanted to walk the ball into the net. You could see why Sheffield United sit last in the table as so much space was left in behind, especially on the right-hand side where Nelson Semedo and Hwang Hee-Chan were pushing forward on so many occasions but without much real threat or final product in the end.


Different story with Neto

Unfortunately for us, we will have to do without Pedro Neto for a few more games at best as he recovers from his hamstring injury. Still, you do have to think that had Neto not picked up his injury in the previous fixture, the score and the performance would have most likely been a lot different in this game as he would have had a field day with his pace and dribbling against the Sheffield defenders.


Shocking decisions continue

Another matchday and yet another shocking decision that goes against us, it seems to be the running theme of this season and not only as similar has happened to us in the previous season. Who knows if we will get another apology once again, one table we top for sure but that is meaningless as apologies equate to nothing and the decisions by the referees continue to cost us points along the road. Mistakes are human, everyone makes them but not to this extent as they are repeated and the VAR which is there for these exact reasons is never used effectively.



Non-existent penalty given aside, the performance shown in the second half was deserving of a loss as the team was disjointed, taking too many touches and losing possession far too easily, also there was never really any threat at all going forward when we managed to regain possession and attack the Sheffield goal.


Bellegarde to start in the upcoming fixtures.

With a lovely strike inside the box, we thought he was our saviour as he produced the goods and we all thought we would be heading home at the very least with one point a piece, but it wasn’t to be.

In my opinion, Jean-Ricner Bellegarde is the man who should be replacing the injured Pedro Neto for the upcoming fixtures as he is much more of a threat compared to the other options and doesn’t force us to change formations or styles of play too much as he is the player that comes as close to Neto that we have as options in the squad.




Wolves 2-2 Newcastle: 5 Things With Learnt

Hwang Hee-chan proved the hero as Wolves came from behind twice to earn a draw against Newcastle United on Saturday evening, but what have we learnt from the hard-won point against Eddie Howe’s side? 


Gary O’Neil praised his side’s ability to recover from setbacks in his post-match interview. For the second league game running, Wolves came from behind to earn points, and they had a task on their hands against Newcastle. A calamitous goalkeeping error and a penalty decision (which Gary O’Neil called “scandalous”) enabled Callum Wilson to give the Magpies the lead twice, but Wolves fought back to level the game twice. A crushing hamstring injury to talismanic Pedro Neto shifted the momentum of the game, and in past seasons, Wolves would have crumbled to a late Newcastle winner, but yesterday their resilience showed. Given the managerial uncertainty at the beginning of the season, the togetherness and grit pays testament to O’Neil’s management. 

Midfield selection decisions 

Boubacar Traore earned his spot in the starting XI after deputising for the suspended Mario Lemina against Bournemouth but was hooked shortly after mixed showing on the 54th minute. Lemina is seemingly nailed on for O’Neil’s midfield pivot against Sheffield United next weekend, but who his partner will be is unclear. Jean-Ricner Bellegarde is likely to be fit and impressed as a skilful ball-carrier on his debut, and Tommy Doyle has grown into the quarter-back role, spraying accurate passes and knitting movements together nicely. Traore’s tenacity and energy should equally not be overlooked, but against a Blades side that are likely to sit back, O’Neil might plump for Doyle to harness his skill in moving the ball quickly to stretch what will be a dogged Sheffield United defence. 

Neto’s Injury

Pedro Neto’s hamstring injury is yet to be assessed, but it looks unlikely that he will feature next week. O’Neil has spoken openly about his lack of wide options, and Wolves might be forced to change their forward shape to adopt to a Netoless world. Kalajdzic could feature as the central option, moving Cunha wide, but there are question marks over his ability to play 90 minutes. Fabio Silva might instead make a return to the side. As ever, the young Portuguese has shown flashes of potential but failed to deliver. Could this be this last opportunity to make an impression? 

Unlocking the low block

As Newcastle took the lead after Anthony Taylor’s dubious penalty call, the Toon sat deep and looked to hold on against the Wolves onslaught. It took some outrageous skill from Toti Gomes and Hwang to break down the solid Newcastle defence, but O’Neil will not want to have to rely on individual brilliance to break down Sheffield United on Saturday. Selection priority may be given to players with the technical ability to pick a pass and move the ball rapidly. 

The rise of Hwang

Hwang Hee-chan has divided fans since his initial loan from RB Leipzig: some will recall his disastrous clearance last season that went straight to the feet of Alan Saint-Maximin to clatter a volley in. He has, at times, looked disconnected from play and ponderous. But with six goals this season and a conversion rate of 50% (the best of any player in the league with more than 3 goals), the South Korean is flying. Where Hwang lacks in blistering pace, hold up play or delivery, he more than makes up for in deadly efficiency in the box and an almost supernatural knack for being in the right place at the right time nearly all the time.  


Bournemouth 1-2 Wolves Player Ratings

Gary O’Neill’s return to the South Coast sees his Wolves team head back home with all three points. A game of two halves sees Wolves trail by one goal to nil in the first half, meanwhile in the second half Wolves are quick to respond and get the game back on its feet and all square. Persistence, gifts by Bournemouth, goals by Cunha, Kalajdzic and a man-of-the-match performance from Tommy Doyle see us prevail late on at the Vitality Stadium.

Jose Sa – 6

Nothing which he could have done for Bournemouth’s goal, all the other shots that he faced turned out to be weak or central shots by the Cherries, routine saves for the Portuguese shot-stopper. A quiet game for Jose Sa which equates to a good thing as he wasn’t tested or didn’t commit any mistakes.

Matt Doherty – 6.5

Not a bad performance from the Irishman as he filled in for the suspended Nelson Semedo. He picked up a few fouls, managed to get the ball in dangerous positions and always pushed himself forward, all this even though he picked up a strain in his groin the day prior to the game. Our game vs Newcastle will probably see Semedo slot back into the right-back position but a solid performance from Doherty, nonetheless.

Max Kilman – 6.5

Not bad not great, didn’t set the world on fire, and he did his duty although he did pick up a yellow card at the end of the first half as he took down one of the Bournemouth players with a late tackle. Played a few passes over the top of the Bournemouth defence like his counterparts.

Craig Dawson – 7.5


A very solid game from Dawson, the standout from that back three. Did all the basics well, and passed the ball well across the field and over the top of the Cherries’ defence, probably one of their biggest weaknesses. Was found in no man’s land for Solanke’s goal but managed to mark him well out of the game to relieve the pressure from Sa’s goal.


Toti Gomes – 5.5

Wasn’t able to repeat the feats of the two previous games he started in and was partially at fault along with Ait-Nuori for the Cherries’ goal as they scored with too much ease and too much space left in behind. Made some good passes but ultimately the change in formation and substitution was the right call as Wolves were chasing a goal and out of the back three, he was the obvious choice to leave the playing field.



Rayan Ait-Nouri – 7

A clear lack of understanding between him and Toti in the first half as the shape of the defence didn’t look exactly right or at least one flank didn’t match the other and the goal showed exactly that as the whole left flank was left empty for Billing to cross the ball to Solanke. Nonetheless, he did what he does best pushing forward and that could be seen in the second half when he linked up well with Cunha and Neto in what could have led to a goal if Neto found his footwork.



Boubacar Traore – 6.5

Filled in for the suspended Mario Lemina in midfield and made his first premier league start for the season. It wasn’t a repeat of his Man City cameo but that was always going to be hard to come. He managed to put his foot in and intercept a few times to break up the play of Bournemouth, nothing memorable as he also picked up a booking but can’t complain too much.


Joao Gomes – 5

It wasn’t his day; he wasn’t able to get into the game and impose his play. Maybe because of the similar characteristics he has with Traore or the fact he wasn’t playing with his usual midfield partner Mario Lemina. Although not expected at first the game did need changing so the substitution at halftime was the right call, one thing for sure is the fact he will be working hard to improve and keep his place at the midfield position as it has many takers.


Pedro Neto – 8

An electric performance from the Portuguese winger that could or maybe should have seen him end up on the scoresheet. Constantly brought the team forward with his direct runs and always brought threat, an example is his run in the fifth minute of the game where he cut back on the inside right on the edge of the box and his shot struck the woodwork. He did manage to grab himself an assist though when he passed the ball to Cunha on the edge of the box.

Matheus Cunha – 7

Not a great game or at least the first half as I would have had him substituted. Lucky that I am not the gaffer as he produced a great strike on the edge of the box to get us tied and change the momentum of the game. Dropped deep and brought the ball upfield on various occasions but his performance wasn’t impeccable if you leave the goal aside.

Hwang Hee-Chan –7 .5

A constant battle for Hwang, showed fight throughout the game getting in good positions and cutting the ball back on various occasions as he would attack the opposition box. Played a key part in the sending off of the Bournemouth player as he was hacked down and he certainly wasn’t happy. His game was topped off as he got the assist for Kalajdzic’s winner.


 Tommy Doyle – 9

Man of the match performance from Tommy Doyle. Gary O’Neill hit the jackpot with this substitution, the momentum of the game completely changed and it is no coincidence he was involved in the build-up to our equalizer in the 47th minute via Matheus Cunha. Sitting in front of the defence the young Englishman could constantly play great passes to find our forwards in space.

Pablo Sarabia – 6

Wasn’t really involved in the game, didn’t have many touches, pressed the Bournemouth players in added time to obstruct their play, and also picked up a yellow card after a confrontation with Max Aarons.

Sasa Kalajdzic– 8

Ten minutes and one chance are all it takes for him to leave his mark and bring all the three points home. After a shocking pass by the Bournemouth goalkeeper Neto, Billing loses possession right in front of his goal and after a quick turnaround a pass by Hwang finds Kalajdzic in front of goal and he makes no mistake.




Wolves 1-1 Aston Villa: Player Ratings

Wolves had to settle for a point in the end as they battled out a 1-1 draw with West Midlands rivals Aston Villa. Wolves initially took the lead thanks to yet another goal from Hwang Hee-Chan whose scoring streak continues. Unfortunately for Wolves, Villa replied almost immediately through Pau Torres. Both teams had chances to win it but ultimately a point a piece is fair on reflection.

Jose Sa – 7

A solid game from Sa who made three good saves, including one late on in the game. His distribution was fine and there was no real moments of panic, which sometimes you can expect to get from the Portuguese keeper. We need him to perform like this consistently.

Nelson Semedo – 6

He was largely untroubled by Moussa Diaby and Semedo had some bright points going forward on occasion. Unfortunately, Semedo was caught out by Ollie Watkins cross and let Torres get in front of him to score. Semedo for the majority of the game was solid.

Max Kilman – 7

The captain is clearly much more comfortable in a back three and gave a very assured performance. He noticeably stepped up with the ball frequently and won his duels. He had one miskick late on but Kilman was good and built on his performance from last week.

Craig Dawson – 8

The Dawson of last season has returned in the last two games and he was rock solid. It felt like he was on the end of every Villa cross and winning all of his duels. The change to the back three is allowing him to sit deeper and not be dragged out of position, and we are all the better for it.

Toti Gomes – 7

Another solid showing from Toti who still has not really let Wolves down since his debut. He was fairly solid and dealt with what come his way comfortably throughout. In possession he is still a bit shaky though.

Rayan Ait-Nouri – 7

The Algerian only played one half due to a suspected head injury, but the half he did play he was good. Nouri played with confidence and assurance and linked up well with Hwang, leading to Nouri flashing a shot across goal. He should be back for the Bournemouth game.

Mario Lemina – 7

Despite his late sending off, Lemina was as usual solid and tenacious particularly in the second half. He won the ball numerous times and then used it well to try and get Wolves on the attack. He will be a big miss for the Bournemouth game.

Joao Gomes – 5

Unfortunately the Brazilian was poor and it felt like he was second to everything today, which is not what we have come to expect from him. On the ball, he was also sloppy. There is no doubt Gomes will bounce back but today was one of his poorest games.

Pedro Neto – 8

Neto’s electric form continues with another assist.  A constant threat throughout if we are going to score the chances are high he is involved. He should have scored however in the second half but he blazed over the bar.

Matheus Cunha – 6

The Brazilian was involved in the goal getting the ball to Neto, but for the majority of the game Cunha felt like he was not involved. He as usual is full of running and great at ball carrying but today his influence was not felt.

Hwang Hee-Chan – 8

Hwang is on fire and has taken his tally to five league goals. His improvement is huge in his general play. His touch is much better and he uses the ball well. Hwang never lacked for effort but now his confidence is sky high and we have found a goal scorer.


Matt Doherty – 6

Sent on for Nouri and the Irishman was comfortable and did try and still push forward when given the chance.

Boubacar Traore – 7

Sent on for Gomes and Traore was good, he injected urgency into the game and won a fair few challenges.

Sasa Kalajdzic – 6

Set up Neto for a big chance and then had a chance himself which he fluffed.

Fabio Silva – 4

Failed to make an impact. He gave away fouls and was not strong enough in challenges.


Wolves 2-1 Manchester City Player Ratings

Wolves produced a resilient but accomplished performance to inflict treble-winning Manchester City’s first league defeat of the season. With Molineux already a cauldron given the return of Matheus Nunes, Gary O’Neil and the Wolves players rose to the occasion, limiting City’s attacking potential to largely long-range efforts and frightening them on the counter, producing an own goal from Ruben Dias and a winner from Hwang Hee-chan. Far from a smash and grab, Wolves competed in the game marvellously and their tactical discipline and individual attacking quality made them worthy winners on a truly memorable afternoon.

Jose Sa – 8

Fresh off a new contract, Sa answered some critics with an authoritative performance to hold off the champions. He made a fantastic save from a long range Manuel Akanji shot alongside a couple of strong claims from crosses. His distribution was calmer and his kicking more accurate. While his defence made his life easy, he showed the consistency he can offer.

Nelson Semedo – 9

Semedo was absolutely outstanding, producing one of his very best Wolves performances. He kept both Jérémy Doku and latterly Jack Grealish quiet, refusing to allow them to beat him and showing patience to stop them penetrating the inside channels. He also did most of the work to create the winner with an outstanding burst forward before putting in a cross that caused City all sorts of problems before falling to Hwang.

Maximilian Kilman – 7

Kilman looked comfortable on the right side of defence, bringing the ball out and playing a couple of good passes, including 4/6 successful long passes (Sofascore), one of which set Semedo away for the winning goal. Covered by Dawson’s work against Haaland he didn’t shine, but it was hard to be critical of anyone in old gold today.

Craig Dawson – 9

Dawson could barely have performed better, marshalling Erling Haaland to the point where he was a non-factor. He nicked an early tap in off the Norwegian’s toes, cleared the ball off the line and 5 other clearances, blocked 3 shots and won both his aerial duels (Sofascore). It’s hard to imagine a much better centre back showing against an attack with so much quality.

Toti Gomes – 6

Toti’s relatively good athleticism was a useful foil for Kilman and Dawson, and he showed that he is of the level to be making contributors for Wolves in huge games. While he lost the ball a couple of times, he helped keep the defensive shape as part of an exceptional performance from the centre back unit.

Rayan Aït-Nouri – 7

Aït-Nouri was excellent again after his performance against Liverpool was cut short by a knock. He mirrored Semedo by refusing to let any City pressure develop down Wolves’ left. His technical qualities, direct running and work rate allowed him to support the attackers and he barely made an error. An accomplished performance from a man who has thrived after looking set to leave Molineux in the summer

Mario Lemina – 6

Wolves’ midfield was asked to do dirty work, effectively looking to provide a further line of defence. Lemina made 4 clearances (Sofascore) and did his job spacing, mostly sitting directly on the edge of the box, demanding City pass around and limiting his potential to break up play. Him and Gomes will have better individual games but both made vital contributions to the Wolves defensive effort.

João Gomes – 6

Gomes showed his tenacity, offering bite in a Wolves midfield which might have looked under-manned with the additional centre back. He has had better games, and he lost possession on a few occasions as well as committing a number of fouls in the Wolves third, one of which led to City’s goal. However, his energy and desire was vital in helping Wolves protect the back line, and he sprung a couple of Wolves counter attacks with his willingness to cover ground and play the ball forwards.

Matheus Cunha – 8

With questions about his ability to play through the middle, Cunha showed the elements that have made him so appreciated by Wolves fans. He pressed hard and showed how good he is at moving the ball in transition, running with the ball and being unlucky to lose possession at the end of an exceptional move in the second half. He set up Hwang’s goal with some impressive awareness and left everything on the pitch before being substituted on 86 minutes.

Hwang Hee-chan – 8

The match winner showed his golden touch with the second goal in the 66th minute. His composure to hit the target meant he has accumulated 4 goals from 1.01 xG this season (Sofascore), providing a goal threat which Wolves have been without for some time. He worked hard defensively to help out Aït-Nouri and linked well with him and Cunha. Hwang and Pedro Neto continue to produce when Wolves need them.

Pedro Neto – 9

Neto was exceptional from minute one once again for Wolves, terrorising Nathan Ake with his pace, measuring each touch perfectly and chasing every single ball out over the top for him. He raced 60 yards or so to force Ruben Dias to concede an own goal early on and his performances see him top of the Premier League’s assist chart. His renaissance is a joy to watch and he continues to make match-defining contributions.


Boubacar Traoré – 8

Traoré’s cameo was vital, as he took over from a flagging João Gomes. He fitted in in the right channel defensively and helped get the ball upfield to provide an outlet. Involved himself significantly in the final thirty minutes.

Matt Doherty – 7

Doherty came in at left wing back to replace the excellent Aït-Nouri, and largely did his job to help Wolves hold out.

Jonny Otto & Fabio Silva (N/A)

Both came on late and did the jobs they had to, with Silva having a strong run to help ease the pressure on Wolves in stoppage time.


Wolves 1-3 Liverpool Player Ratings

After a superb first half, Gary O’Neil’s Wolves side whimpered to a 3-1 defeat at the hands of a weakened Liverpool side, without the likes of Virgil Van Dijk and Trent Alexander-Arnold. Wolves looked a different side from the early stages of the second half, allowing the away side to carry on their run, as one of the six unbeaten sides currently remaining in the Premier League.

Jose Sa – 5

An outing with not much work to do for Jose Sa, however once again his work with the ball at his feet let him down. His launch into no-mans-land late in the second half allowed Liverpool to take the lead after some haphazard defending from Wolves.

Nelson Semedo – 6

An assertive performance in the first half from Semedo places him as one of the better performers for the home side today. He remained calm when bringing the ball out from the back, and was a constant threat going forward, particularly with his cross to set up Pedro Neto in the first half. Liverpool doubled up on Semedo early in the second half, which led Gary O’Neil to add Matt Doherty as support on the right-hand flank.

Craig Dawson – 4

A performance expected of Craig Dawson for the majority, dominant in duels and assertive against opposition forwards. The central defender was a threat in Liverpool’s box from set-pieces. Dawson however, was robbed of the ball far too easily in the build-up to Liverpool’s third which saw his overall match rating slip.

Max Kilman – 5

Similar to his partner, Kilman was assertive and dominant for the majority. An overall defensive lapse during Liverpool’s second goal sees the Wolves defence take somewhat of a battering in terms of their rating. Kilman made a fantastic block in the second half to deny Darwin Nunez. However, questions remain regarding whether Kilman is the right man to wear the armband for Wolves.

Rayan Ait-Nouri – 7

As with his fellow starting fullback, Ait-Nouri was one of the more promising players for the home side today. For large periods before his injury impacted substitution, Ait-Nouri fully locked down Mohammed Salah. His link-up with Pedro Neto in the first half was pivotal when it came to the home side’s success in the first half. He continues to justify his place in Gary O’Neils starting 11.

Joao Gomes – 6

After a strangely poor performance at Selhurst Park, Joao Gomes’s standards rose again against Liverpool. He was fantastic both with and without the ball in the first half, however, this was not allowed throughout the second as the away side continued to retain the ball.

Mario Lemina – 6

Similarly to Gomes, Lemina simply did not have an impact on the second half due to the shift in momentum. The midfielder performed his role admirably as always, however, and was a fantastic ball-winner. The only downfall for the Gabonese today was his hopeful ball straight to Liverpool’s backline which continued to set the tempo of the second half.

Jean-Ricner Bellegarde – 7

As far as debuts go, The Frenchman was remarkably impressive during his first start in Old Gold. Bellegarde was given the licence to roam forward and he was a constant threat. He showcased the tempo of the first half perfectly, his ability to drive and utilise his pace and power proved to be a thorn in the side of Liverpool throughout his time on the pitch. Should Bellegarde put up similar performances moving forward he will undoubtedly become a fan favourite.

Pedro Neto – 7

With his fourth assist of the season, Pedro Neto looked very much like his old self throughout. He beat three men as he set up Hwang Hee-Chan early in the first half and should have registered a second when his cross found Matheus Cunha who fluffed his lines in the box. A fantastic performance on the left-hand side from Neto.

Hwang Hee-Chan – 7

Before his substitution, Hwang provided another bright performance for Wolves. The forward scored his third of the season and continues to be one of the more reliable men under Gary O’Neil.

Matheus Cunha – 4

Missing the chance which could have changed the game completely for Wolves, Matheus Cunha was strangely quiet for large periods despite the assertive performance in the first half from Wolves. As with his miss against Manchester United, Cunha continued to lack the much-needed bite in front of goal which would elevate his game to a whole new level.


Fabio Silva (Matheus Cunha, 61) – 4

Being on the receiving end of criticism following the defeat, Fabio Silva provided somewhat of a nothing cameo during his time on the field. Silva offered little to nothing in terms of an outball and looked like a shadow of the figure seen throughout the international period with Portugal’s U21s.

Matt Doherty (Hwang Hee-Chan, 61) – 5

Whilst the Irishman had a few neat touches going forward when combining with Nelson Semedo, Matt Doherty had a very minimal impact on the match for Wolves, and his substitute appearance fully indicated the intentions of Gary O’Neil to shut up shop as the game progressed.

Hugo Bueno (Rayan Ait-Nouri, 65) – 5

After a sensational performance from Rayan Ait-Nouri, Hugo Bueno looked at sixes and sevens in comparison. He failed to lock down Salah as Ait-Nouri did as Liverpool continued to assert their control throughout the latter stages.

Tommy Doyle (Jean-Ricner Bellegarde, 77) – N/A

Coming on for his debut in Old Gold in the latter stages, it was a far-from-ideal scenario for the young midfielder to stamp his authority. Doyle however did look neat and tidy on the ball when he did have possession, however, the Englishman will need more minutes under his belt before a full judgment is made by supporters.

Boubacar Traore (Mario Lemina, 78) – N/A

Playing in somewhat of an unorthodox position higher up the pitch, Boubacar Traore struggled throughout his limited time on the pitch. Wolves whimpered to defeat in the closing stages of the match, and Traore alongside two more defensive midfielders certainly did not help the home side in terms of ball retention.

Selhurst park

Crystal Palace 3-2 Wolves Player Ratings

Eberechi Eze and Odsonne Edouard show, shame the pair play for Crystal Palace and not Wolves. More possession than our opponents but that doesn’t equate to the 3 points. Wolves struggled to contain the hyperactive Eze and paid the price as Wolves defence was too sluggish and the team made far too many mistakes, being dispossessed and countered on numerous occasions and struggling to create or get in any dangerous positions despite the two goals.

Jose Sa – 5.5

Made some good low saves to deny Palace from adding any further goals and came out to collect the ball when crossed in the Wolves box but ultimately conceded 3 goals and gifted Palace the chance to go 1 nil up in the 15th minute of the game. His distribution also wasn’t great within the game as he often booted the ball up for a quick counter but routinely handed the ball back to Crystal Palace.


Nelson Semedo – 5

Picked up a booking early in the first half that obviously hindered and held him back. Some decent passes and link up but that’s about it, didn’t offer anything on either front and should have done much better in the defensive front, left far too much space for Mitchell to cross for the first goal.

Craig Dawson – 5

Did not look too comfortable at all during the duration of the game, Eze, Edouard and co danced around the defence with ease while the Wolves defence looked on hopelessly for the three goals. Not a game to remember for him, also launched the ball long on too many occasions and the Wolves attackers didn’t manage to make anything off of that.


Max Kilman – 5

Copy and paste of Craig Dawson too slow, sluggish and at fault for the goals, The first goal saw the ball travel across the box and Edouard free himself in between him and Dawson to poke home at the near post from close range. The only thing to differentiate his performance from that of Dawsons was the goal-line clearance in the first half.

Rayan Ait-nouri – 5.5

Not good enough but the best pick out of a bad bunch in that back four today, made some mistakes himself, one of note in the second half when his indecision led to Edouard finding himself in front of Jose Sà but the shot-stopper dived low to deny the Palace striker. Also picked up a yellow card early on and was taken off for the final ten minutes but pushed forward compared to Semedo.

Mario Lemina – 6

Had a good first half often breaking up Palaces’ play and regaining possession for Wolves. Didn’t repeat himself in the second half and was caught out watching for at least one of the three goals. His first-half performance was probably one of the reasons why the first half ended goalless and that’s why he gets a pass on his rating.

Joao Gomes – 4.5


Wasn’t his day didn’t see what he offered in his previous outings in old gold. Got lucky in the first half as a penalty could have been given for his contact with Eze in the box. Held the ball for too long on various occasions and was wasteful in front of the Palace box, leading them to counter us and put us in difficulty, this also led to him being added to the referee’s book.


Pedro Neto – 7

Our only spark in that game, the man creating the chances and the only player offering something going forward, not surprised the ball was played so often down his flank. Shame he didn’t get on the score sheet as Johnstone denied him well on one occasion. No goals for him in this game but he can be happy with his performance as he assisted both of Wolves goals.

Pablo Sarabia – 4.5

Did he play today? After a convincing outing on Tuesday against League One opposition Blackpool in the League Cup Sarabia did not repeat himself. The Spaniard produced nothing of note, this led to his substitution which could have possibly taken place earlier to allow Hwang more time to impact the game.

Matheus Cunha – 6

Freed himself and burst up the pitch on various occasions during the match but nothing was made from that. Miss placed some passes and wasn’t served with frequency; he ended up getting a consolation goal in the dying seconds of added time to open his account for this season, and hopefully more to come.


Fabio Silva – 5

Not much of note to report for Fabio, no clear-cut chances, wasn’t served very often and we didn’t play to his strengths, just long and high balls that were hard for him to control. Could argue that he could have been kept on instead of being substituted for Boubacar Traore as we ended up shaping more defensively by taking a man up top and adding another to a midfield that would then possess three midfielders with similar profiles.



Hwang Hee-Chan 60′ (Pablo Sarabia) – 7

One of Wolves’ most in-form players at the moment and also one of the only ones who seems to know where the back of the net is. Grabbed the equalizer and gave us a glimmer of hope only for it to be torn down by our lack of defence.  He showed a combative spirit as you would expect from someone that comes off the bench, the substitution could have been made earlier in my opinion.


Boubacar Traore 74′ (Fabio Silva) 5

I am afraid to say Gray O’neil got this substitution wrong As already stated before, it unbalanced the team, A like-for-like substitution with Joao Gomes might have been a better option as we would have kept our shape and taken a player with a booking off and had fresh legs. It’s useless saying that now, Traore failed to impact the game.

Sasa Kalajdzic 81′ (Joao Gomes) N.A.

Hugo Bueno 81′ (Rayan Ait-Nouri) N.A.



Wolves Rumours – August 30

Wolves set to sign promising Paraguayan

Enso Gonzalez is reportedly traveling to England for a medical before joining Wolves on a 6-year deal.

The 18-year-old Paraguayan has played predominately as a left winger during his career and will bolster Wolves attacking options.

He joins from Paraguayan Primera Division side Libertad who will receive a 20% sell-on fee on any potential future move. Wolves will reportedly pay a fee of around £5m for the player, who has been watched by Wolves for a number of months before a bid has been lodged.


Wolves keen on Blackburn midfielder

Wolves are interested in a potential move for Blackburn midfielder Adam Wharton according to Alan Nixon.

Wharton has been valued at around £15m after several Man of the Match performances in the championship last season.


Wolves ‘prioritise’ Strasbourg man

Wolves have reportedly ‘prioritised’ Habib Diarra as a potential transfer target before Friday’s transfer deadline according to Le Quipe.

The fee is likely to exceed €15m as Strasbourg attempt to hang on to the defensive midfielder. Diarra was integral to Strasbourg’s late push to survive relegation from Ligue 1 last season, and the player now appears to be pushing a move out of the club.

European clubs AC Milan, Napoli, AS Roma, Wolfsburg and RC Lens have also shown an interest, with RC Lens having 3 bids rejected so far.

Bueno to join Wolves

Wolves have agreed a deal to sign Girona centre-back, Santiago Bueno.

The Uruguayan international will join Wolves for around £10m, after undergoing his medical today. The 24-year-old is yet to play for Girona this season due to a hamstring injury that ended his 2022/23 season early, however after making the bench in Girona’s last game, he will be looking to move straight into the squad at Wolves.

Wolves will be pleased to see this deal over the line as the fee is significantly less than Bueno’s release clause which stands at €25m.


Wolves ‘enquire’ about Brighton midfielder

Wolves have reportedly enquired about Colombian midfielder Steven Alzate.

The 24-year-old has been at Brighton since 2017 and they are now looking to allow the player to leave before the end of the summer transfer window.

Everton look to rival Wolves to the player, who is also admired by Serie A club Fiorentina and Spanish club Sevilla.

Alzate has endured two loan spells during his time at Brighton as well as making 51 appearances for the Seagulls.

He will be hoping to secure regular first-team football by moving elsewhere.


Everton 0-1 Wolves: Player Ratings

A fairy-tale late winner from Saša Kalajdžić handed Wolves their first points of the Gary O’Neil era. It was a far from convincing display, but Wolves fought hard to leave Merseyside with a vital three points.

Jose Sa – 9

Although it was Kalajdžić who scored the winner, it is undoubtedly Sa who Wolves fans have to thank for leaving Goodison Park with anything. In what was comfortably is best performance for a long while, Sa responded to recent criticism with seven saves, including an all-time classic from a bouncing Doucoure header that left him flat-footed.

Nelson Semedo – 7

A much improved performance from Semedo after his struggles last week. The right-back seemed to have a lot more confidence playing out from defence and his positioning was sound throughout.

Craig Dawson – 7

A strong display from Dawson who made several vital clearances and headers. He was caught out in behind on a couple of occasions, but overall the veteran defender bounced back well from the Brighton catastrophe.

Max Kilman – 7

Like Dawson, the skipper bounced back well and fought hard to help earn Wolves a clean sheet. Also like his defensive partner, he still has room to improve in dealing with balls over the top.

Hugo Bueno – 6

In his first start this season, Bueno struggled to have any influence in the first half but was at the heart of most attacks in the second half and worked tirelessly down the left flank. He reminded fans that he has one of the better deliveries into the box out of the entire squad, which could come in handy with the emergence of Kalajdžić.

Mario Lemina – 7

A typical Lemina display in which he did not stop running. He fulfilled his defensive duties excellently and, in a not so physical team, was the key physical presence in the middle of the park in what was a scrappy game at times. His passing range and creative influence is limited, but Wolves would struggle massively without his intelligence and energy in midfield.

Joao Gomes – 7

Like his midfield partner, Gomes did not stop battling for ninety minutes and also produced some nice passes and turns in a game that generally lacked quality.

Pedro Neto – 6

Neto was deeply disappointing in the first half, from being too one-footed (and surely playing on the wrong side) to mistiming runs to miscommunications with teammates. However, his work rate was fantastic and he was rewarded for his persistence in the form of a beautiful assist for the winner. This sign of promise, as well as his passion during the celebrations, will have won him more support and confidence from the fans.

Hwang Hee-Chan – 5

Hwang was regularly covering the left side of defence well but struggled to have any impact going forward before he was subbed at half-time. Hopefully his injury is not serious.

Matheus Cunha – 5

A rare anonymous performance from Cunha, who had arguably been Wolves’ best player so far this season.

Fabio Silva – 5

Fabio’s performance can be summarised as deeply frustrating but with some lingering signs of promise. His hold-up play and physicality were a let down throughout the first half, and his one-on-one miss in the second half will undoubtedly haunt him and irritate fans. However, his delightful run and finish a few minutes before the miss that was ruled offside, as well as the run for the one-on-one, showed he can get in dangerous positions and be the fox in the box that Wolves have missed for so long.



Rayan Ait-Nouri 46′ (Hwang Hee-Chan) – 7

It is no coincidence that Wolves improved after Ait-Nouri’s introduction. He linked well with Bueno down the left throughout the half, troubling Everton right-back Patterson on several occasions with his energy and skill. Perhaps he could be a viable option on the left wing this season?

Pablo Sarabia 74′ (Fabio Silva) – 6

Sarabia seems slightly more comfortable in the second striker role rather than out wide. He had a couple of efforts blocked in stoppage time, but perhaps he should have gone towards the corner.

Toti Gomes 85′ (Hugo Bueno) – NA

Brought on to shore up the left side as Bueno tired during the latter stages.

Saša Kalajdžić 85′ (Matheus Cunha) – 8

With just his second touch, a year of pain was finally undone for Kalajdžić who sent the travelling Wolves fans into delirium with a header into the far corner. It does not matter that it was mistimed, nor that Wolves were lucky to win; above anything else it was a truly amazing moment for a good guy who fully deserved this moment of reward. A moment no one will forget.