Wolves Transfer Targets: Saša Kalajdžić

When the summer transfer window opened it was clear that Wolves needed a new striker to compete with Raúl Jiménez and Fábio Silva, both of whom struggled in the 2021/22 season. When Silva was subsequently loaned out to Anderlecht, the need became even more urgent. So, when it was reported with just days left of the window, that Wolves had agreed a fee of around €18 million (£15.4m) with VfB Stuttgart for the signing of Saša Kalajdžić, there was a collective sigh of relief throughout Wolverhampton. But who is the Austrian forward, and can he bring some much-needed goals to the Molineux?

Who is Saša Kalajdžić?

Saša Kalajdžić is a 25-year-old Austrian international who began his career with Austrian clubs SR Donaufeld Wien and Admira Wacker Mödling, before joining Stuttgart in 2019. He is of Bosnian Serb descent, having been born in Austria to parents who were refugees of the Bosnian War. Having played a notable role in keeping Die Schwaben in the Bundesliga last season, he has previously been linked with moves to the likes of Bayern Munich and Manchester United earlier in the summer. His 6 ft 7 in height and slender build has drawn comparisons to former England striker Peter Crouch. He is much more than simply a target in the box however, as Stuttgart journalist Simeon Kramer told TW’s Dave Azzopardi: “In Austria he used to play in attacking midfield… he has a good first touch, and he knows how to play with the players around him”.

What is Saša Kalajdžić’s style of play?

The Austrian brings with him strong goalscoring pedigree, boasting an impressive record of 22 goals in 51 Bundesliga appearances. His height and physicality in the box make him a good fit alongside wingers like Pedro Neto and Adama Traore, who regularly look to drive to the by-line and cross the ball into dangerous areas. Naturally, Kalajdžić’s stature will also provide a major boost to Wolves’ threat from set pieces. Last season the team recorded the second least shots from set pieces in the league according to The Analyst, indicating a lack of a consistent option from corners and free kicks. As the tallest outfield player in the Premier League, the Austria international will immediately provide a significant upgrade in this capacity – whether by winning headers himself, or by occupying defenders and allowing other players like Max Kilman and Nathan Collins to get open opportunities. According to FBref, Kalajdžić last season won 6 aerial duels a game with a success rate of 59% a game – both among the most impressive marks in the Bundesliga.

However, the Austrian’s skillset is far from limited to winning headers. Over the last two seasons he has proven to be one of Europe’s most adept strikers at holding up the ball and creating chances for his teammates His frame not only makes him a danger in the box, but also allows him to shield the ball effectively from defenders. As Simeon Kramer put it: “It’s very difficult for a defender to get the ball from him… He’s nearly unstoppable”.

How will he fit with the team?

Goal-scoring wingers like Neto and Gonçalo Guedes could thrive with Kalajdžić acting as a focal point and bringing them into play. In 21/22 he recorded an expected assists stat of 0.26 per game, along with 1.47 key passes – once again among the highest marks for Bundesliga strikers. His abilities in hold-up play make him similar in this aspect to Jiménez, meaning Kalajdžić should fit comfortably in with a team which knows how to work around a player with his playstyle. He is more than willing to get involved in build-up play, as Simeon Kramer explained: “He will come back to midfield often to get the ball and launch an attack himself”.

The one notable concern to mention when it comes to the Austrian is fitness. The forward played just 15 times in the Bundesliga last season, although he impressed whenever he was on the pitch. However, the season prior he featured in 33 out of a possible 34 league outings, so Wolves fans have reason to hope that with a full pre-season of recovery, Kalajdžić is back to full fitness and ready to put last season’s struggles behind him.


You can keep up to date with all the Wolves rumours as they happen over on the Talking Wolves Twitter.


Wolves Rumours 24th August

Wolves closing in on new striker

Wolves are said to be getting closer to securing the signing of striker Sasa Kalajdzic according to Sky Germany.

Stuggart value the gigantic striker at €25 million but it’s understood that a bid of €20 million could be enough to bring in Kalajdzic.

The 25-year-old is out of contract in the summer but has attracted interest from Manchester United and Bayern Munich this window.

It’s felt that a deal will be thrashed out, with personal terms ‘not being any issue’ as the player is extremely keen to join.

The 6-foot-7 Austrian certainly fits the profile for the type of striker Bruno Lage wants.


Wolves interested in Ajax midfielder

Wolves are reportedly set to open talks with the representatives of Ajax midfielder Mohammed Kudus to sign the Ghana international on a season long loan according to Football Ghana.

The tenacious midfielder is also said to be attracting interest from Everton.

The 22-year-old’s Ajax career has been plagued by injuries but the Ghanaian is said to be highly thought of in Amsterdam.


No bids for Neto from Arsenal thus far

Wolves have absolutely no intention of selling Pedro Neto this summer according to O Jogo.

The ‘door is closed’ for his departure and he’s expected to be available to Bruno Lage for all of the coming season.

News broke from David Ornstein on Monday that Arsenal had identified Neto as their top target and Jorge Mendes had offered the winger to Arsenal.

However, it’s understood Wolves’ value of at least £50 million on some way short of the Gunners valuation.

Wolves are in a strong position to maximise the size of a sale should it come to light with Neto recently signing a new deal until 2027.

As things stand, there has been no contact between Wolves and Arsenal.


Hwang’s former boss eyeing summer swoop

Leeds United will reportedly target Wolves forward Hwang Hee-Chan if Dan James leaves Elland Road to join Tottenham this summer according to Alan Nixon.

However, other clubs are also aware of Hwang’s possible availability.

It’s thought that Wolves are open to letting Hwang leave this summer with his minutes looking limited for the season ahead.

It’s not yet known whether Wolves would replace Hwang if he was to leave.

You can keep up to date with all the Wolves rumours as they happen over on the Talking Wolves Twitter.


Wolves Rumours 18th August

Wolves accept Nottingham Forest’s bid for Morgan Gibbs-White

Wolves have accepted a bid of £25 million for Morgan Gibbs-White from Nottingham Forest as first reported by the Telegraph.

There are also between £7-10 million in likely addons plus further ambitious add-ons more difficult to achieve up to maximum of £42.5m.

It’s a saga that has ran on for the whole of this window and it was always felt that Gibbs-White would move on eventually.

Wolves had offered Gibbs-White a new deal in May this year but has shown no signs of wanting to sign the contract so Wolves have decided to move the player on.

The club are desperate not to see a repeat of the Adama Traore situation and with only two years left on Gibbs-White’s current deal, the right decision has been made.

Morgan is in Nottingham today to complete his medical and join Forest and he will become their 16th signing of the window.


Wolves are still interested in Ramos – but other clubs are pressing for a deal

Wolves still hold an interest in Benfica forward Goncalo Ramos but they are not the only club pushing for a deal.

It was reported yesterday that Southampton have held talks with Benfica over a £25 million move for the striker.

Newcastle still hold an interest but it’s thought Southampton are further along the process than the Magpies.

Wolves had offered a loan with an obligation to buy of €30 million but Benfica rejected this proposal and Wolves are yet to go back in with a fresh offer.

Ramos has been among the goals for Benfica already this season and impressed against Dynamo Kyiv in the Champions League last night.

Wolves still want to bring in another striker this window and the funds generated from the Morgan Gibbs-White deal could help secure this.


Wolves keen on Vitoria midfielder but are put off by clubs valuation

Wolves and Porto still hold an interest in Andre Almeida but both clubs believe the price Vitoria are demanding for the midfielder is too high according to Pedro Sepúlveda.

It was said that Sporting were keen on Almeida to replace Matheus Nunes but head coach Ruben Amorim doesn’t believe he has the same attributes to be able to replace Nunes.

The 22-year-old was highlighted in Talking Wolves’ recruitment video with Dan Butler and possess great passing and ball carrying qualities.

Almeida has one year left on his current deal (with an option of an extra year in the clubs favour) and is valued at €10 million by Vitoria.


You can keep up to date with all the Wolves rumours as they happen over on the Talking Wolves Twitter.


Matheus Nunes – A complete guide to Wolves’ club record signing

Wolves have smashed their club record fee with the sensational signing of Matheus Nunes from Sporting Clube de Portugal for a fee reportedly in the region of £38million.

Nunes has signed a 5-year deal at the club taking his contract to 2027.

This move signifies Fosun’s intent to back Bruno Lage in the summer market, with a centre-forward still said to be on the transfer targets list.

He becomes Wolves’ new summer addition after Nathan Collins and Gonçalo Guedes.

It has been well documented that Wolves have been in for Nunes for the majority of the summer, with Lage seeing him as a key figure for his rebuild of the side.

Let’s take a look at what the Portuguese International can bring to Wolves:

The Story So Far

Nunes was originally born in Rio de Janeiro but moved to Lisbon at the age of 12.

He began playing for his local side Ericeirense (who are due around £1million from this move) and impressed enough to sign for professional side Estoril in the summer of 2018, this was also the previous club of fellow countryman Chiquinho.

Nunes made his debut for Estoril in October 2018 and was predominantly played in the reserve side.

After impressing against them in the Taça de Portugal, Sporting CP then picked him up from Estoril for a fee of just over £850,000 – this was only six months after he signed for Estoril. This fee covered half of his economic rights and the contract included a 45m Euro release clause. He went on to play 32 times for Sporting’s U23s, scoring 3 goals and collecting 3 assists.

Sporting manager Ruben Amorim took a liking to Nunes thanks to his impressive performances in the youth ranks and handed him his debut in June 2020. He received more consistent appearances towards the end of the 2019/20 season and made his big breakthrough the following campaign.

In the 2020/21 season, he played over 1,250 minutes for the Sporting first team as they went on to win their first league title since 2002. Nunes proved to be a pivotal part of Amorim’s 3-4-3 system, playing 31 times in the league, and carried that momentum on into the 2021/22 season.

Last season he played 50 times in all competitions for Sporting and impressed further in the Primeira Liga as well as the Champions League.

In total, Nunes played 101 games for Sporting, garnering eight goals and nine assists and building a reputation as one of Portugal’s most promising midfielders.

After a 5-0 defeat against Manchester City in February, Pep Guardiola dubbed him “one of the best players in the world”. Very high praise for someone who knows all about coaching the top central midfielders.


Nunes was the subject of much speculation this summer with reports having suggested he rejected deals from both Wolves and West Ham United alongside linked interest from Manchester City and Liverpool. However, despite wanting to hold out for Champions League football, Nunes was convinced to join Bruno Lage’s project and now finds himself in Little Portugal’s Wolverhampton base.

The Tactical Side

Nunes offers something that Wolves fans have been crying out for for several years, and that is a progressive midfielder.

Not only does he fit the profile of what Wolves need, but he’s also one of the best in Europe at what he does.

He’s played the majority of his career at central midfield having been used in 71 games in that position. However, according to transfermarkt, he has also dabbled in defensive midfield and attacking midfield duties.


This blend of positions makes him the ideal box-to-box midfielder for Wolves as he is able to cover several key characteristics.

His passing can be hit and miss due to a preference for trying riskier passes, but in terms of a short-range passer, he is proficient.

Questions remain as to whether he can adapt to the physicality of the Premier League due to his slighter frame, however, his dribbling and carrying numbers are exceptional.


He also boasts fantastic percentiles when it comes to through balls, which suggests he will be a player that will frequently be able to bridge the gap between the midfield and the attack.

Despite his height, he provides agility and superb technical ability to turn away from pressing opponents. When it comes to press-resistant midfielders, he’s up there with the best.

According to FBRef, he is also in the top one percent for dribbles completed. This will aid Wolves’ speed in transition but also offer them an outlet should they need to bypass a high press.

With the eye test, it is clear to see he is adept with the ball at his feet, and whilst his passing may need touching up, Wolves have other players that can replace that missing passing range.

Taking a look at the stats below, beautifully formatted by Breaking the Lines, we can see the empirical data that supports this. His short and medium pass completion mixed with his passes under pressure denotes that he is a midfielder that will be able to break the line with quicker passes into free space, whilst being able to do it under pressure.

With pressing being something Wolves’ midfield and defence has struggled to cope with, Nunes offers us a perfect player to keep the ball and find space where he can impact games on the front foot.



Whilst Ruben Neves offers the passing range from deep that Nunes does not, Nunes offers the mobility and dynamism that Neves lacks. In essence, they are the perfect complimentary midfield partnership. With Wolves potentially switching to a 4-3-3, putting Joao Moutinho into the mix with his ball recovery and metronome-like passing makes for one of the league’s best and most complete midfields.

With this signing, Wolves have every key characteristic covered, not to mention excellent leadership qualities and experience at the highest level.

You can view more tactical analysis using the video below:


The Expert View


We spoke to Alex Brice, founder of Football Wonderkids, to give to us some more insight into Nunes:

“Matheus, for me in the Primeira Liga, is the player who gives the most guarantees.

“This is a player that can play at the six role, that can play in the eight role, and if he has to, he can be the one making the final pass. 

“In my opinion, this is a stepping stone for Matheus. You guys will easily double (your money) with him.”

In regards to his main qualities, Alex said:

“Definitely expect one of the best box-to-box midfielders straight off the bat. He’s perfect for the Premier League. 

“I’m so surprised you guys got him. Wolves fans, be happy about this one. It’s such a good deal. 

“He’ll have an instant impact. You should expect a player that could be playing for Liverpool and add quality (to the Liverpool midfield)”

On Nunes’ career so far, Alex explained:

“The biggest loser here is Ruben Amorim. Matheus won’t be (happy) either, it’s not that he doesn’t want to go to Wolves, going to the Prem is a big opportunity for him, but he loves the core at Sporting. 

“He was working at a cafe four or five years ago and now he’s going to the Prem. It’s a ‘started from the bottom’ type story.

“Mentally he is a very strong person because he went from rags to riches, and I really value those types of people.”

Discussing the reception from Portuguese fans, Alex said:

“Honestly Portuguese fans love it because the fact of the matter is Portugal wants to see Portuguese people do well outside (overseas). 

“Seeing people succeed in England at Wolves in the Premier League, the best league in the world, we all accept there’s a lot movement in Portugal.”

With an away game coming up fast this weekend against Tottenham, Wolves will be hoping their new star man will be in full viewing for his Premier League debut. With the rebuild under Lage picking up pace, this truly does feel like a signing which could propel Wolves back into the picture for European qualification.


You can keep up to date with all the Wolves rumours as they happen over on the Talking Wolves Twitter.





Wolves Rumours August 11th

Chelsea utility man linked with Wolves

Wolves are reportedly among clubs interested in Chelsea’s Ethan Ampadu.

A number of Italian clubs such as Empoli, Spezia and Cremonese are also interested but the defender wants more ‘clarity’ over his future and not just a loan deal with no option according to reports coming out of Italy.

Still only 21-years-of-age, Amapdu has played in both the Premier League and Serie A for Sheffield United and Venezia – where he featured as mostly a central midfielder for the Italian side.

Ampadu is versatile and can also play at right back and occasionally centre back. The Welsh international was one of the most promising players to come out of the EFL after he signed for Chelsea from Exeter, aged 16.

He currently has two years left on his deal.


Wolves interested in Traore but reports stating a deal is close are wide of the mark

FC Metz midfielder Boubacar Traore wants to join Wolves.

It’s said that his entourage have agreed with the salary conditions offered by Wolves and his transfer could be finalised in the coming days according to reports coming out of Metz.

However, Liam Keen has since reported that Wolves are aware and do have an interest in Traore but news that a bid has been made is wide of the mark.

The same news outlet has since replied to Liam Keen – insisting he is a liar.

Traore was one of the best performing midfielders for his age last season in terms of ball winning and ball progression qualities.


Wolves continue to be linked with 6-foot-6 striker

Wolves have reportedly opened with a ‘low offer’ for Strasbourg striker Ludovic Ajorque according to Alan Nixon.

It’s said Wolves have offered around £10m but will have to almost double it if they want to sign the Frenchman.

Other reports from France suggest wolves have bid around €12m but Strasbourg want €15m.

Express and Star reporter Liam Keen has since ruled out the signing of Ajorque and has reported that Wolves have submitted no offers for the French forward but they are aware of him.


Rayan Ait Nouri still a target for Manchester City

More news has broken that suggests that Manchester City’s interest in Rayan Ait Nouri is genuine according to the Telegraph.

It had previously been reported that City were looking at the player but had opted to try and sign Marc Cucurella – who has now signed for Chelsea.

The sale of Cucurella should inflate Ait Nouri’s valuation and it’s worth remembering that Wolves will owe Angers a percentage of the fee if he is sold. Wolves do have the option to buy Angers out of the clause.


You can keep up to date with all the Wolves rumours as they happen over on the Talking Wolves Twitter.

john ruddy

EXCLUSIVE: John Ruddy on his time at Wolves

John Ruddy left Wolves in the summer after a five-year stay at Molineux. The former England international sat down EXCLUSIVELY with Talking Wolves to chat about his time at Wolves.

Signing for Wolves

Ruddy signed for Wolves in the summer of 2017 as the club’s no.1 after the heart breaking news that Carl Ikeme had been diagnosed with leukaemia.

“The move only came about after Carl’s news broke which was devastating for everybody and Wolves needed to act quickly. For both parties it worked really well as the club was replacing an experienced goalkeeper with a goalkeeper with similar experience but for me it worked because I was going to a club who had ambitions to get promoted.”

The promotion winning season

That summer, Wolves brought in the likes of Ruben Neves, Diogo Jota and Willy Boly.

“You could always see the quality with Neves, Diogo and Boly,” explained Ruddy. “There were other players too though – Bonatini, Douglas and Bennett were pivotal for us.”

When asked if he knew straight away that the club were going to be battling for promotion, Ruddy explained that you could see quality across the squad but the team cohesion helped too.

“Nuno came in and never changed his philosophy for any team and we knew every player’s role across the team which made it a lot easier for the cohesion across the group. Going into games, we all knew what we expected from each position which was massive for us that season and the only disappointment was not getting 100 points.”

Wolves went to already relegated Sunderland on the final day of that season, needing just one point to break the 100 points barrier but head coach Nuno Espirito Santo made wholesale changes to the line-up as Wolves lost the game 3-0.

“I was having a hernia operation that day so I couldn’t play,” Ruddy said. “I think Nuno wanted to give people recognition for stuff behind the scenes that most people wouldn’t have seen. He was very good at managing the squad and keeping people happy that season but he was still expecting to bring at least a point back!”

THAT Cardiff game

Wolves fans will need no reminders about the game that almost clinched promotion back to the Premier League for Wolves in the most dramatic fashion.

Ruddy was involved in two late penalties for Cardiff, with Wolves 1-0 up – saving one of them as Junior Hoilett hit the crossbar with the other.

“It was a lively bus on the way back from Cardiff”, said Ruddy. “Rui Silva came on the bus (assistant manager at the time) and we all asked whether we could have a few beers considering we’d just pretty much won promotion. Him and Nuno strolled over to the Asda and bought us all a few crates so we could have beer on the way home. It was a real nice moment.”

For most Wolves fans watching, they were watching those closing moments through their fingers but Ruddy said the team knew what to expect.

“We knew how they were going to play and we stood up to that until the last minute but I still don’t think the ‘push’ from Coady was a foul,” explained Ruddy.

“I’ll give Cav the benefit of the doubt for the other one and he’s still adamant to this day that he slipped but I still don’t know what he’s doing,” jokes Ruddy.

Promotion to the Premier League

That summer, Wolves bought Rui Patricio who was instated as Wolves’ No.1 by Nuno, meaning John Ruddy would have to watch from the side lines for the majority of that season. Ruddy knew the club would bring in goalkeeping reinforcements but he felt it was his shirt to lose.

“When Nuno told me he was going to be playing Rui then there’s not much I can do apart from just take it,” said Ruddy. “Nuno told me two weeks before the Premier League season was meant to start.”

Ruddy felt that Nuno could have told him sooner about his decision as the Championship season was starting one week after the news was broken to him, meaning it was unlikely he could find another club to play for.

“You either sit here and kick up a fuss or you just get on with it and the person I am, I just got on with it,” explained Ruddy. “I always backed myself and if I was given the opportunity I would have taken it but that didn’t come.”


Wembley heartbreak

Wolves missed out on reaching the FA Cup Final that season in the most heartbreaking fashion as they lost to Watford in extra time – despite being 2-0 up for most of the game.

“It’s the one game in my career that I’ve never watched any footage back from and it’s the biggest regret in my career,” explained Ruddy. “We were ten seconds away from winning the game and by that point you’re so deflated and it’s very difficult to get yourself going again but all the lads feel the same and it shouldn’t have gone the way it did.”

Wolves in Europe

Despite their FA Cup woes, Wolves still managed to pick themselves up and qualify for the Europa League as they finished seventh in the league.

Wolves’ Europa League campaign started in Armenia and Northern Ireland and Ruddy explained that the travelling did take it out of the players a little.

“We landed back in England from Armenia at five o’clock Friday morning and then you’re playing again on the Sunday,” said John. “It was brilliant for the club and it helped the club grow a lot quicker in terms of the techniques used for recoveries and from my point of view, to go to the likes of Besiktas to play was a dream.”

The departure of Nuno

Wolves announced a few days before the last fixture of the 20/21 season that Nuno Espirito Santo was to leave the club after four years.

The decision and the timing came as a shock to many Wolves fans and Ruddy explained that the timing was strange but the decision was less surprising.

“We had a meeting just before the Everton game and Nuno brought us all into the changing room and told us what was happening,” said Ruddy. “It was a tough meeting because you’d shared a dressing room for four years, so it was tough to see him getting so emotional as he had invested a lot into the club and we’d invested a lot into him during that period.”

Ruddy explained further, “The timing was a shock but you could just sense that something was brewing and something wasn’t quite right. He started to tinker with things which he had never done before which was one of the first signs.”


Rui Patricio out and Jose Sa in

In the summer that Nuno left Wolves, No.1 goalkeeper Rui Patricio also left the club for Roma meaning there was a vacant goalkeeping spot in the Wolves team. Wolves bought Jose Sa to fill this void and Ruddy explained he’d already called what would happen in April that year.

“I was round Ruben’s (Neves) for dinner in April and we were chatting about Rui maybe moving on and I said “If Rui leaves we’ll just bring in Jose Sa anyway” and Ruben knew Jose anyway and he said “ah yes, that would make sense because Jose might be looking to leave Olympiacos.””

Ruddy feels that Sa can reach the heights of Patricio’s career and feels he doesn’t get the recognition he deserves from the Portugal national team but feels Rui may have struggled to play the way Bruno Lage wants to.

“With all due respect to Rui, I feel he may have struggled to play the way that Bruno wants his keepers to play,” said Ruddy. “That’s why Sa stood out last year because he’s the complete opposite in terms of playing styles to Rui.”

Working under Bruno Lage

Ruddy spent his final season at Wolves under current Head Coach Bruno Lage. Ruddy believes that Lage is a fantastic coach but is still learning other parts of his trade.

“He’s a very good coach on the training pitch and is extremely thorough,” Ruddy said. “His man-management could be improved as he’s very passionate so you know exactly what he’s thinking, which, sometimes it’s a good thing and sometimes it’s a bad thing. At this level of management you need to find a balance and with Bruno, he will come in and you will know exactly how he is feeling – whether that is good or bad.”

“It’s different styles of management for different people though and in terms of how he coaches a team, he is very, very good.”


Leaving Wolves on a free transfer

John Ruddy left Wolves at the end of his contract in May this year after five years at the club. Many reports suggest that Ruddy was offered a new deal and he explained, with real sensitivity, what actually happened.

“I had a meeting with people at the club and they explained that they had an option for an extension which I didn’t know about,” said John. “I said I wanted to go and play first team football but I will do what’s right for the club and if you’ve got the option then the ball is in your court. It got to about six or seven weeks before the end of the season and I was informed they were going to take the option.”

Despite wanting playing time, Ruddy said that he was happy to stay at Wolves but the contract saga took a twist just days before the end of the season.

“The day before the end of the season was the day they had to confirm they were going to take up the option and it was on that day that the club let me know they weren’t going to trigger it.” 

Ruddy would then have to come on to replace Jose Sa in the fixture at Anfield the next day. 

An Instagram post from Ruddy’s account suggested that the goalkeeper was a little disgruntled with how the club dealt with it but Ruddy said he understood the decision.

“The club is a business and if they feel as a business then it will be better not to carry me for another year then that’s fine but honesty in football is quite hard to come by but there are honest people at Wolves. I’ve got no issue with the outcome – just how the outcome was dealt with.” 

Ruddy doesn’t feel like the situation is a big deal though and genuinely wanted the best for the club but alluded to the fact that senior board members at the club had the final say on the decision. Ruddy believes that both Scott Sellars and Bruno Lage were in favour of him staying.

The former England international also feels that the club has had the opportunity to push on and break into the top six if Wolves had made some key signings.

“I don’t think it’s just necessarily last season but Wolves have had a couple of quiet windows and finishing seventh twice in a row would have been a good opportunity to bring in the right people, at the right time and we could have kicked on but you have to find the right people. For every Ruben Neves, Diogo Jota and Pedro Neto, there are players that you aren’t going to make your money back on so it’s about finding the right players and nurturing them the right way.”

Ruddy believes that the injuries that have happened in recent times can’t be legislated for.

“When you lose key players in the way that we did then it will affect any squad and you can’t legislate for that. Perhaps the club could have made more additions but would have those additions gone straight into the first team. You can buy players for the future like Fabio Silva and if you get the injuries Wolves have had then there’s no guarantee these players are going to be ready.

Life after Wolves

Ruddy, who travels from Norfolk but plans to find somewhere closer to Birmingham for himself, is now the No.1 keeper at Birmingham City. He admitted it was a quiet summer for clubs trying to secure his services.

“It was very quiet in terms of approaches but I think it was a difficult window for a lot of people. I’m 35 and I’ve not played consistently for four years so it’s hard to say to these clubs “come and pick me up” but Birmingham came in and the manager has been brilliant with me since I’ve gone there.”

Being the No.1 is a good feeling again for Ruddy who’s had an unbeaten start to his time at St Andrews.

John Ruddy has already started doing his coaching badges but he explained he still isn’t sure whether that’s for him but it’s good to have options.

“It’s a lot of work and admin”, joked Ruddy. “It’s not something that I am desperate to follow but the badges are something I’d like to have as an option.”

Ruddy finishes with a statement of fond memories and a real proud feeling about his time at Molineux.

“It doesn’t matter how it ended, I will always have fond memories of Wolves and it was a real honour to be part of the club and to play a small part in the success we had.”


Gonçalo Guedes – The lowdown on Wolves’ marquee summer signing

Wolves have announced their biggest summer signing since their first window after promotion with the arrival of 25-year-old Portugal international Gonçalo Guedes from Spanish side Valencia, in a deal thought to be worth around £27.5million.

Guedes is Wolves’ second summer recruit after the acquisition of Nathan Collins from Burnley for a reported £20.5million.

Bruno Lage was keen to reassure fans in his post-match press conference on Saturday that the club had been ‘talking with players’ and that any stress the supporters may have had would be quelled soon enough.

Soon really was the case as hours after Wolves’ 2-1 season-opening defeat at Leeds, strong links came out from Spain reporting that a deal had been struck between Valencia and an unnamed Premier League side. That side turned out to be Wolves as reliable journalists such as Héctor Gómez and Fabrizio Romano confirmed the club’s interest and offer. The rest, as we say, is history.

Guedes has signed a five year deal at Molineux.

Let us take a look at what Guedes can offer and his career up to this point so far:


The Story So Far

Guedes began his career at Portuguese giants Benfica, after impressing for Benfica’s B team ( 11 goals and 16 assists in 38 games) he was promoted into the first team squad. He played 67 games for the side, amassing the same goals and assists total that he had achieved with the B team.

This earnt him a big money move to PSG for a fee of around £27million in the summer of 2016. After playing 13 games for the Ligue 1 champions and only managing one assist in that time, he was moved on to Valencia the next summer.

Guedes spent 5 years at Valencia, originally joining them on loan in 2017. He started strongly in Spain, notching six goals and 11 assists in his debut campaign.

This prompted Los Che to splash out £36million on the Portuguese winger and he went on to be a crucial member of the first team. He played 177 times for the club, producing 36 goals and 30 assists.

Last season was a career-high in terms of goal contributions, registering an impressive 11 goals and six assists playing as a second striker alongside Maxi Gomez.

It is important to remember that these performances and numbers have been in an underperforming Valencia side who have had a myriad of off-the-field issues with chairman Peter Lim. The club has struggled financially and it is thought that this sale could help ease their debts as “they have to complete almost €40m worth of outgoing transfers just to meet this year’s budget.”

Guedes has been one of the shining lights in a stagnating Valencia side, and his impressive capture could mark the beginning of the club’s new rebuild under the guidance of Bruno Lage.


The Tactical Side

So where can Guedes fit into this Wolves side? Well, using Transfermarkt we can get a more in-depth idea as to where he might slot in.

The first note of importance is his ability to play across the frontline. As previously mentioned, he had an excellent campaign last season playing a more central role alongside Uruguayan forward Maxi Gómez. However, throughout his career, he has been primarily deployed at left wing.

Having played 104 games in this position, contributing 16 goals and 17 assists, it’s safe to say that this is his most favoured position and one which Wolves fans can expect him to play this campaign.

As we know though, he can play up top. His record as a second striker is comparatively far more potent, having registered 19 goals and 16 assists in 52 appearances. This suggests that Lage could switch to the 4-4-2 he used at Benfica, with Guedes supporting another centre-forward such as Jimenez.

As this is unlikely due to the preferred use of the 4-3-3 or the 4-2-3-1, it is most likely that ( if he were to play up top) he would be used as a lone striker that could interlink with Wolves’ three supporting attacking players.

Guedes has had slightly less success as a lone forward (10 goals and 11 assists in 34 games) but he does offer a viable option that could fit well into Wolves’ fluid front four system.

One thing to note is that throughout pre-season and against Leeds, our attacking players have not really used fixed positions and have roamed infield or swapped over to create a greater sense of fluidity and attacking dynamism. This could suit Guedes as a more potent option within that attacking unit.

According to statistics gathered by FBref, Guedes has consistently out-performed his expected goals and assists in his time at Valencia (in domestic competitions it must be said). In an isolated season, you could suggest it was simply pure luck, but this consistent defiance of the rules of numbers denotes that he is a more potent threat.


Guedes outperformed his xG and xA consistently at Valencia


Having a player that is clinical in front of goal is an asset that has been missing from Wolves’ current wingers despite their incredible ball-carrying and creative talent.

Alongside his more potent end product, Guedes also ranks highly for progressive passes, carries, and dribbles completed. As seen below, he hits the top five, seven and six percent respectively in these areas.



This shows us that he is adept on the ball and is someone that can drive Wolves up the pitch consistently. Whilst Wolves have players that are strong in this metric, having another option that can perform in this area is certainly no negative. His high percentage in progressive passes also shows that he does come with some excellent passing intelligence and a willingness to pass forwards into advanced areas.

Whilst his passing accuracy is not anything to shout about, when it comes to making risky passes the percentage is always lower. It is also worth noting Daniel Podence has similar passing percentages and he is considered Wolves’ best creative player, showing that numbers aren’t always as good as the trusted eye test.

Guedes also possesses good statistics when it comes to tackles and interceptions. Whilst his pressure numbers are low, we can see that he is a forward player capable of defending from the front and one that has the awareness to potentially nip in in front of defenders and win the ball back high up the pitch.

The Expert View

We spoke to some experts on Goncalo Guedes to get an idea of what sort of player and character he is and how he could make an impact on the Premier League this season:

Paco Polit – Spanish journalist:

“If I’m completely honest, I believe he has been carrying Valencia for the past two seasons, especially on the pure stats.

“I believe that both him and Carlos Soler have overall been outstanding in those two areas, especially as the team has lowered its overall level.

“Guedes had been a breakout star in that first season in Valencia. In that sense, he had to pick up the mantle from the big players that had left. Him, Soler and Gaya have been the three biggest players for Valencia.

“He is possibly one of the stars who didn’t play for Barcelona, Real Madrid or Atletico Madrid.”

On Guedes’ best position and profile, Polit explained:

“Most of the time he played as a left-winger, but with the freedom to make diagonal runs towards the centre of the attacking front, and be able to finish both inside the box, but also with mid and long-range shots which are quite powerful and consistent.

“Most of his best goals have been in that sense. He has the ability to score in many ways, but also he has modified the way he has played in the last few seasons. He started as a player for the left wing or the middle, in the last few months, he’s been a pure number nine. He’s been the main striker for Valencia. 

“He’s been consistently one of the players with the most fouls committed against him in the last five seasons, this means when he’s dribbling he’s a threat and 100% a menace. He hasn’t been protected much by the referees in Spain. 

“He needs to feel important in the starting lineup, I think that if you pay that money for Guedes it’s to place him straight into the lineup. If he doesn’t play, he might find himself outside that place where he is happy.”

In regards to the fee, Polit stated that he believed Wolves were getting good value for money:

“When Valencia had the option to buy, the price tag on Guedes was between 40-50m Euros. I believe today he is a much better player than he was four years ago. 

“I think his market value should be around 40m Euros or more, so I think Wolves are getting a good deal with the player.”

“So overall, Mendes has been crucial towards this transfer happening. I don’t know if Wolves are getting the best bargain price possible because I think that the negotiation has been pretty short.

“I think that in this case, Valencia have gotten the short end of the stick even after receiving those 32 plus three million euros.”

So the big question, how high can Guedes get in the English game?

“He’s an international player with Portugal. He has scored goals with them. He has worn number seven with Portugal like Cristiano Ronaldo.

“If he has a good season, he can easily be one of the top five news players in the league hands down, I’m totally positive on that one.”

Wolves have seemingly struck gold again with the help of super-agent Jorge Mendes. The controversial relationship between the club and the agent has offered Wolves another path to signing an internationally recognized player and for a decent price, whether Guedes will be a hit is yet to be seen but this marks a key signing in the new era at Wolves.





Wolves Rumours August 5th

Wolves reject third bid for Gibbs White

Wolves have rejected a third bid for Morgan Gibbs White from Nottingham Forest according to Liam Keen.

The club are staying strong on their stance and they are adamant that the player is not for sale.

He is set to play a big part for Wolves this season and although Wolves are adamant he is not for sale, it’s understood a bid of over £30m upfront may force them to sell.

Sky Sports News have reported that Forest’s third bid was £25m up front with £10m in further potential add-ons.

Disappointingly, The Athletic have reported that Gibbs White is refusing to discuss a new contract with Wolves.


West Ham United join the race for Conor Coady

West Ham are reportedly said to be interested in Wolves captain Conor Coady according to TalkSPORT.

As posted yesterday, Wolves are willing to let Conor Coady leave the club this summer, with Everton showing firm interest.

No official bids have been made for Coady but it’s understood the player is open to a move.


Wolves lead the race for Batshuayi

Wolves have ‘moved fast’ and are now reportedly in direct talks with Chelsea regarding Michy Batshuayi according to Ben Jacobs.

Everton were interested in a permanent deal but are yet to make a move and Leeds are also said to be monitoring the situation.

As posted yesterday, Wolves are reportedly in advanced talks to sign Batshuayi as the club look desperate to bring in a centre forward.


Patrick Cutrone gaining interest from Italy

Serie B club Parma are the latest club to enquire about Wolves striker Patrick Cutrone according to Sport Witness.

The Italian is not in Bruno Lage’s plans and did not travel with the rest of the squad on pre season tours of Spain and Portugal.

Cutrone has one year left on his deal.


Catch up on all of the latest Wolves rumours in our latest Talking Wolves Transfer Podcast.