Gonzalo Higuain

Wolves Transfer Rumours – May 30th

Juventus set price for reported Wolves target

Following reports last weekend that Wolves were interested in Juventus striker Gonzalo Higuain, Juventus have reportedly set an asking price for the Argentine.

According to Corriere dello Sport, the Italian giants will be looking for €18 million for the 32 year old who has 12 months left of his contract.

Premier League rivals Newcastle United are reportedly also interested in Higuain and could also make a move if their takeover goes ahead as planned.

We had reported this news in one of our previous Wolves rumours updates but it’s unclear whether there is any interest coming out Molineux. Higuain, 32, doesn’t fit the usual profile for players that Wolves and Fosun have recruited since their arrival. The club now look for younger players who are more likely to improve and come into their peak in their later years where the club can benefit more if the player were to be sold. However, Wolves did bring in Joao Moutinho who was a similar age to Higuain so let’s not rule this one out completely just yet.

Wolves show interest in Valladolid defender

El Desmarque has reported that Wolves have shown an interest in Real Valladolid defender Mohamed Salisu. A number of clubs are chasing the Ghanaian centre back including Atletico Madrid, Bologna, Manchester United and even Watford and Southampton more recently.

However, it is stated that French club Stade Rennes are leading the race to sign the 21-year old who has a £10 million release clause.

It has been reported previously that Wolves were looking to strengthen the centre back department in the upcoming transfer window so this could be one to keep our eye on. With Ryan Bennett looking to have played his last game in the old gold and black for Wolves, it’s looking increasingly likely that Nuno will be bringing in defensive reinforcements for the next season – whenever that may be.

Danny Loader on Wolves’ transfer radar again

Wolves are ready to reignite their interest in Reading youngster Danny Loader according to Sky Sports. The 19 year old’s contract is set to expire next month and Wolves are keen to pounce for the striker’s signature.

It’s said that ‘several’ Premier League clubs are interested in Loader, who had agreed terms with Wolves last summer before Reading pulled the plug on the deal.

Loader has spent his entire senior career at Reading, scoring one goal.

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FM Stats Thumbnail

Wolves Transfer Targets According to Football Manager 2020

We’ve teamed up with the 5 Star Potential podcast once again to delve into the murky world of Wolves transfer rumours. Co-host @FridayNightFM has turned to Football Manager 2020 to run through the transfer rumours from last week and give his opinion on Wolves’ potential new boys. 

 

The Football Manager database is the most comprehensive collection of data relating to professional football in the world. Over 1,300 scouts have analysed more than 600,000 players and coaching staff. 

 

Kristoffer Ajer

Kristoffer Ajer FM Stats

Currently unproven in a top division, Ajer has so many similarities to former Celtic defender Virgil van Dijk, strong on the ball, good in the air, a threat from set-pieces and an excellent distributor of the ball. In this current Wolves side Ajer would fit in perfectly with his ability to start attacks with sudden vertical passes or play his way out of trouble with the calmness and composure he honed as a central midfielder earlier in his career. 

Signing Rating 8.5/10

 

Óscar Rodriguez 

Oscar Rodriguez FM Stats

Wolves weren’t exactly overawed with their last signing from Real Madrid, but Óscar is arguably a hidden gem in an arsenal of midfield talent at Los Blancos. Currently on loan at Leganes, Óscar, is a more attacking version of Neves, he loves a shot from distance, only Lionel Messi scored more from outside the box this season and he possesses a deadly freekick. 

Signing Rating 9/10 

 

Carlos Vinícius

Carlos Vinicius FM Stats

Benfica’s Brazilian bagsman is the talk of the town across Europe but Wolves’ strong links to Portugal mean they’ve been linked with him for some time now. At 6’4 there’s a chance that he could be lined up as a replacement for Raúl Jiménez should he depart in the summer as the pair have a number of similarities. Vinícius is more than just a target man, his strength and speed coupled with his poacher like attributes mean he could be deployed as an out ball target from the back or finishing off an attack with his deadly left foot. 

Signing Rating 8/10

 

Danny Loader

Danny Loader FM Stats

Loader is one of the relative unknowns from England’s Under 17 World Cup winning squad from 2017. In a squad that contained the likes of Callum Hudson-Odoi, Phil Foden & Morgan Gibbs-White it’s fair to say that Loader’s profile has been somewhat halted due to him being outside the Premier League. On the flip side, he’s been playing first team football regularly where the others haven’t and although Reading play him through the middle as a striker he’s probably more comfortable playing from the left or right and when there was talk of a move to the Bundesliga, the Jadon Sancho comparisons started. In Football Manager he’s still very raw and similar to real life he needs some elite competition to fulfil his obvious potential. 

Signing Rating 6.5/10

 

Emmanuel Dennis

Dennis FM Stats

I’m going to hit this straight off the bat, he gives me Adama vibes. He can play across the front three, mainly operating from the right and loves to play direct football taking on his opponent at any given opportunity. Much like Adama he needs nurturing and in Nuno he has the perfect mentor. Dennis has plenty of eyes on him in real life, along with Wolves he’s been linked with Arsenal, Newcastle and Lyon and with Brugge expected to accept offers of around £13m he could prove real value in the market post Covid-19. In Football Manager his pace and acceleration are his stand out attributes, add a knocks ball past opponent player trait on him and he’ll be the nemesis of many a full back! 

Signing Rating 7.5/10 

 

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george elokobi

Talking Wolves Team Of The Decade

As 2019 draws to a close, so does the decade and what a strange old decade it’s been from Wolves. We started 2010 with the mediocrity of Mick McCarthy in the Premier League and we are ended the decade in 2019 with the wonderful spectacle of European football under the lights at the hallowed Molineux.

On our last podcast, Talking Wolves went through their team of the decade, alongside The Old Gold and Black and Harry Mansell from the 77 Club. Here are their best teams of the decade not including any of the current squad. We felt that if we included current players then we’d just have the starting eleven from the weekend.

MATT COOPER – TALKING WOLVES

Carl Ikeme

Barry Douglas

Richard Stearman

Jody Craddock

Ronald Zubar

Matt Jarvis

Kevin McDonald

Bakary Sako

Steve Fletcher

Sylvan Ebanks Blake

 

DAVE AZZOPARDI – TALKING WOLVES

Carl Ikeme

Sam Ricketts

Richard Stearman

Danny Batth

Barry Douglas

Matt Jarvis

Kevin McDonald

Dave Edwards

Bakary Sako

Benik Afobe

Steven Fletcher

TOM ROUSE – THE OLD GOLD AND BLACK

Carl Ikeme

Barry Douglas

Sam Ricketts

Kortney Hause

Dominic Iorfa

Kevin Mcdonald

Jack Price

Dave Edwards

Bakary Sako

Ivan Cavaleiro

Helder Costa

HARRY MANSELL – 77 CLUB

Carl Ikeme

Barry Douglas

Jody Craddock

Richard Stearman

Kevin Foley

Matt Jarvis

Dave Edwards

Michael Kightly

Bakary Sako

Sylvan Ebanks Blake

Kevin Doyle

Images: Getty

grant holt wolves

Talking Wolves Worst Team Of The Decade

As 2019 draws to a close, so does the decade and what a strange old decade it’s been from Wolves. We started 2010 with the mediocrity of Mick McCarthy in the Premier League and we are ended the decade in 2019 with the wonderful spectacle of European football under the lights at the hallowed Molineux. On our last podcast, Talking Wolves went through their team of the decade, alongside The Old Gold and Black and Harry Mansell from the 77 Club. Here are their worst teams of the decade. Tin hats at the ready.

MATT COOPER – TALKING WOLVES

Andy Lonergan George Elokobi Danny Batth Kaspars Gorkss Greg Halford Eggert Johnson Tommy Rowe George Saville Adam Hammill Grant Holt Joe Mason

DAVE AZZOPARDI – TALKING WOLVES

Andy Lonergan Kaspars Gorkss George Margrietter Steven Muoyokolo Jermaine Pennant Eggert Jonsson Tommy Rowe Ola John Yannick Sagbo Grant Holt Jake Cassidy

TOM ROUSE – THE OLD GOLD AND BLACK

Emi Martinez Jesus Vallejo Kaspars Gorkss Roger Johnson Cameron Borthwick Jackson Greg Halford Eggert Johnson Jamie O’Hara Jermaine Pennant   Paul Gladon Yannick Sagbo

HARRY MANSELL – 77 CLUB

  Emi Martinez Jesus Vallejo Roderick Miranda Roger Johnson Jelle Van Damme Greg Halford Prince Oniangue Jamie O’Hara Nathan Byrne Leo Bonatini Stefan Maierhofer  
St Mary's

Wolves vs Southampton Player Ratings

Rui Patricio Denied Danny Ings on a couple occasions but couldn’t fault him for the combined mishaps between Jesus Vallejo and Conor Coady which led to the opener. The keeper also made an excellent save to prevent James Ward-Prowse from bending his free-kick into the top corner, four minutes from time. Patricio showed a clear improvement in his overall distribution out from the back, making 22 passes and completing four accurate long balls. 7/10   Ryan Bennett The experienced centre-half picked up a minor injury which saw him come off for Jesus Vallejo on the 17th minute but didn’t put a foot wrong in his duration on the pitch. 7/10   Conor Coady The skipper didn’t put on the greatest show in the middle of the back three, contrasting with his superb performance vs Man City a fortnight ago. Coady made sixty passes with a respectable 86% pass accuracy, but a rightful booking on 45th minute meant that the Englishman was treading on thin ice for the remainder of the game. His error in mis-timing the bounce led to Danny Ings’ goal six minutes after the interval, a mistake which wasn’t all his fault. 6/10   Willy Boly The Ivory Coast international has proved yet again why he’s so integral to this Wolves side, having won three aerial duels and making six recoveries, as well as achieving four accurate long balls, one of which found Raul Jimenez but was ruled out for handball. Boly’s overall composure and distribution is second to none, showing week-in-week-out how vital he is to the Wolves back three. 8/10   Jonny Otto The Spaniard showed integrity and determination when running down the left wing, something which he’s developed since arriving last year from Athletico Madrid. Jonny showed defensively and offensively why he’s such an annoyance to face, nullifying Valery as indicated by his seven recoveries. 8/10   Joao Moutinho The Portuguese maestro ran the show in the middle of the park, showing no signs of tiredness despite playing in both midweek European Qualifiers. 81 touches and a pass accuracy of 85% indicated how influential he was, dictating the tempo and his defensive awareness was up to usual standards yet again, making four recoveries on the afternoon. 8/10   Ruben Neves Wolves talisman hasn’t been himself in recent weeks, adopting a deeper role in the midfield to what he’s played in the past seasons. A low pass accuracy of 72% to what he’s usually achieving, as well as only making one successful recovery and tackle during the first half. 6/10   Leander Dendoncker The Belgian, likewise with Neves, hasn’t put on a display worthy of a mention in recent weeks, but he lifted his performance in the second half which contributed to his five recoveries and two aerial duels won. Dendoncker hasn’t lost his grit or energy, but he certainly hopes to have a greater impact from the midfield in the coming games. 7/10   Adama Traore Following his brace last time out, Adama showed signs of confidence in his play in the final third, but most notably, he couldn’t produce when necessary as he slashed his attempt wide of the post on the 80th minute. The Spaniard completed four key dribbles and was fouled three times throughout the 90 minutes, as well as making six recoveries from right wing-back. 7/10   Patrick Cutrone The Italian international struggled to break through the back three of Bednarek, Yoshida and Vestergaard during his time on the pitch, attempting only one shot which failed to hit the target. Cutrone’s 22 touches and lack of involvement in the game warranted his substitution for Diogo Jota just after the equaliser. 5/10   Raul Jimenez Wolves’ NO.9 could have bagged himself a potential hattrick, but due to the operation of VAR in the modern era, a handball decision and an offside call were both chalked off within the first half. His week’s rest recharged his batteries as he looked raring to go since the first whistle, chasing loose balls and linking up play as he usually does. The Mexican sensation dispatched his penalty with coolness and composure, with that being his first shot all afternoon. 8/10   Substitutions    Jesus Vallejo (for Ryan Bennett 18th minute) Making his second appearance in the Premier League, the loanee from Real Madrid looked out of his depth yet again, likewise with his poor display vs Chelsea a few weeks back. Was caught out on numerous occasions and found himself chasing the ball in-behind, as well as making a lackadaisical pass to Danny Ings which was fortunately saved by Patricio. However, a lethargic and underpowered clearance into the middle of the park led to Southampton’s opener on the 53rd minute. 4/10   Matt Doherty (for Ruben Neves 46th minute) The Irishman featured in only one game for his national side during the break, but his drive and determination earnt Wolves a penalty on the 61st minute, beating three players until Hojbjerg fouled him inside the 18-yard box. Winning two aerial duels and making two interceptions, his defensive display was what we all expect from the dynamic wing-back. 7/10   Diogo Jota (for Patrick Cutrone 62nd minute) Coming back from his injury, Diogo showed the drive and dribbling ability he’s used to displaying, cutting in from the left and deceiving defenders by comfortably using either foot in the final third. The forward didn’t have much of an impact on the game, but his four attempted dribbles indicates that he’ll eventually find his feet in this Wolves side. 7/10  
Anfield

Wolves v Liverpool: History and Analysis

It’s Premier League finale weekend, and everything is still to play for with the Premier League title still up for grabs on the last day of the season.  Manchester City take on Brighton who have already confirmed another season in the Premier League while Liverpool take on Wolves who have already confirmed 7th place.  This doesn’t mean Wolves don’t have anything to play for, and you can bet they’ll be wanting to beat Liverpool this weekend. After Liverpool, Tottenham, Chelsea and Arsenal making it to the two European Cup Finals, Wolves and Manchester City have become the only two teams in history to have beaten all 4 European competition finalists in one season.

History of  Wolves v Liverpool

Wolves come into this game, with the chance to put it beyond doubt that Liverpool go another season without winning English footballs greatest prize. Wolves have met Liverpool on 103 occasions, winning 36 of them compared to Liverpool’s 50. The first game between the two sides was on 29th September 1894, when they met in League Division One, with Wolves getting a 3-1 victory at home.  The return fixture in the same season finished in a 3-3 draw. Wolves and Liverpool met nearly every season between 1894 and 1906, mostly in League Division One, with one game being in the FA Cup. There was a void between 1906 and 1923 where the two sides didn’t meet at all, but either side of that gap the same result, a 2-0 loss to Liverpool, both at home. From then until 1984 the sides played regularly, at least every decade.  There was then a 20 year void where between 1984 and 2004, the two sides didn’t meet in a competitive game (there was a friendly between the two sides at Molineux in the 1990’s). Liverpool and Wolves have met 3 times in the last 3 years, with Wolves coming out victorious in 2 of them, but the most recent League game ended in a 2-0 loss at Molineux.

Wolves v Liverpool Analysis

Wolves come into the game unbeaten in their last 4 with wins against Arsenal, Watford and Fulham and a draw with Brighton, and one loss in the last 5 being the 3-1 loss to Southampton. Liverpool come into the game with 4 wins out of their last 5, two of those being a 5-0 win against Huddersfield and a 4-0 win against Barcelona.  Their only loss in those 5 games was a 3-0 loss away from home. Liverpool will be up for the game knowing they have to win to have any chance of confirming a first Premier League title, but Wolves will be no push overs, and even though they have confirmed 7th, they will be wanting to end the season on a high, and what better way than denying Liverpool their dream. Nuno may use this opportunity to give some younger players a chance to play against a big team knowing there is nothing really at cost.  However, the main core of the team is likely to remain the same and with the current run, you have to expect them to give Liverpool a game. Liverpool come into the game after a 4-0 win against Barcelona and with Firmino out injured, and Salah just back fit in the nick of time (convenient heh?).   For this reason and knowing Liverpool will be going into this match confident, and they may underestimate Wolves after just beating Barce convincingly.  When Wolves are underestimated, their opponents get punished. Wolves will want a win to sign off in style, honestly this is a game I just can’t choose as form goes out the window.  You can never bet against Wolves these days, so I’m going to predict that Wolves will knick it in the last minute 2-3. Prediction: Liverpool 2-3 Wolves   Adam Carr
Molineux Stadium

Laurie Dalrymple: What on earth has happened?

The news broke Tuesday evening through an official club statement (with a corner flag image to boot) that Laurie Dalrymple had left the club with immediate effect. It shocked the whole Wolves community. Why has a man who, on the face of things seemed to have such a fruitful relationship with the Wolves board members been given the boot?

It’s strange and we’ll probably never know the real truth but large portions of supporters have displayed their discontent at the decision and you can see why.

Laurie was initially hired as Head of Commercial at the club before moving into the prestigious Managing Directors role after just a year and a half at Wolves. He’d always communicated with fans magnificently and looking back at old photos and interviews, he’s certainly improved on his own image along the way. Along with Fosun, it felt like he’d brought the good times back to Wolves and fan engagement was at its highest that I can ever remember. He’d always be the one to break big news, whether it be positive or negative and was a real spokesperson for the club – making this all the more shocking.

Perhaps that was a large part of what he did at Wolves. It seems wrong to speculate but we don’t know whether his hands were tied behind his back by the powers that be and that he was used as a tool to connect and communicate with fans – something that the likes of Jeff Shi couldn’t maybe do. Rumours that he was speaking to other clubs, hence the garden leave have circulated but why on earth would you want to leave one of the biggest rising clubs in Europe? Another rumour doing the rounds is that he’d spanked the commercial budget for the year without any real return on the clubs investment. That’s something I feel a bit more inclined to believe just based on the number of fucking fireworks and flamethrowers we saw last season (which did really boost the match day experience may I add). There have been so many things that us fans have been wanting for years, such as the novelty of card machines in the stadium at the concourse kiosks that Laurie delivered on – but all these things do come at a cost.

I’d suggested on Twitter that the MD of the club would have the final sign off on senior squad players which could go some way towards explaining the total lack of transfer movement at Wolves but as stated in the refined official statement, Laurie never oversaw footballing matters.

Of course, as at any company, the role of an MD comes with a hefty salary and benefits packages. You can imagine Wolves were paying upwards of £150,000 exc. benefits for such a role and with no plans to replace Laurie, Wolves could be cutting back.

It’s a real shame. I really liked Laurie and what he brought to the club. From the outside perspective, he’d done a sterling job. Some would argue that with a big budget and with the team doing so well on the pitch that the job was made easier but it’s still a huge task. It does worry me a little that Fosun are stripping the club back and making wholesale changes, so I just hope we keep our identity through it all.

Everybody at Talking Wolves would like to wish Laurie all the very best in his future endeavours.