Neves, Costa, Cavaleiro, Jota. Wolves have made some impressive signings since Fosun took the reins at Molineux two years ago,
But no matter how much you invest in a team or thought-out your transfer strategy is – no club has a 100% success rate in the transfer market. Whether it is struggling to adapt to a new league, injuries or the turnover in managers and tactics, sometimes it just doesn’t work out for players.
Despite the success of this year and the ecstasy of promotion, it’s almost easy to forget our supreme overlords haven’t always got recruitment right in their pursuit of global domination. It’s just a good job we don’t have connections to football’s most powerful football agent to help orchestrate manoeuvres in and out of the club.
So let’s look at those who failed to shine in Old Gold in the last couple of years.
Silvo – Free transfer from Atletico Madrid
There were already warning signs when Silvio joined Wolves after playing only 61 games over 5 seasons. A Mendes player who’d already done the round of some of Uncle Jorge’s preferred destinations, Silvio looked set to give Wolves cover and experience in either fullback position. But injuries plagued his time in England and on the few times he played from Wolves, he was technically sound, strong in the tackle, looked as brittle as fine China. It came as little surprise the club didn’t extend his contract for another year and that no club has signed him with his fitness issues.
Phil Ofosu Ayeh – Free transfer from Eintracht Braunschweig
Ah Phil. There’s not much to say as he’s been here a year and not played for the club! His only saving grace is probably the fact the club didn’t pay a fee for him. Basically injured the moment he came to the club, Wolves could have done another wingback to cover Doherty.
With the club gaining promotion, you feel that that he will drift back to the lower divisions in Germany.
Jon Dadi Bodvarsson – £2.7m from Kaiserlautern
Am I being harsh on the man who bought the Icelandic Clap to Molineux by calling him a flop? Under Zenga, he started the season strongly teaming up well with the likes of Joe Mason – it truly was heady days. But let’s be honest, a striker who’s scored less goals than I have fingers on my left hand can’t really be considered a success.
He fast became a selfless striker, laying on goals for team mates to a striker who couldn’t score. He looked stricken of confidence and it was clear Nuno didn’t fancy him in this team. Since moving to Reading he was playing in an arguably poorer team than the season before but managed to get double figures and is off to the World Cup in Russia. It’s a funny world.
Prince Oniangue – £2m from Reims
He came with great promise from Ligue 1 as a box to box midfielder to give Wolves more dynamism in the centre of the park. No not Tongo Doumbia – our sweet Prince Oniangue. Similar to Bovarsson he started the season well and chipped in with a few goals, but his injury overlapped Zenga leaving and Paul Lambert joining and wasn’t what Lambert was looking for in midfield.
The fact he was welcomed back with open arms to the top tier in France suggests he had the quality for at least the Championship. I guess we’ll never know.
Paul Gladon – £1m from Heracles Almero
What’s left to be said about our curry loving cult icon? Even when he signed eyebrows were raised about how good he was and he showed little evidence of being about to make the grade in his fleeting appearances for Wolves.
He’s managed to earn a lovely pay raise for all of his hard work helping Wolves secure promotion, making it even harder to get him to leave.
Ben Marshall – £1.2m from Blackburn Rovers
When he came to Wolves after the being in exile at Blackburn, he looked unfit and carrying a bit of Christmas weight. After Marshall’s goal against Reading he looked like a different player all together and looked good alongside the likes of Costa and Cavaleiro.
With his versatility, it could have been feasible him play deputy in the wingback positions or in central midfield. His lack of pace or dynamism prevented him making any impact his season, but his form on loan at Millwall showed his ability in the second tier.
Ola John – On loan from Benfica
I know what you’re thinking – yes he was on the books at Wolves and I’ve not just thrown his name in to test you. Injuries and the form of a certain Helder Costa saw to Ola John getting nowhere near the team. At least Gladon gave us some comedic value with his presence at the club, where a Ola John is about as forgettable as it gets. Stay tuned to see him in a fancast quiz near you!
Joao Teixeira – On loan from Benfica
Diogo Jota is the player who many hoped Joao Texeira would become. I mean, who can forget his goal against Brentford?
He dazzled fans with his quick feet and for a fleeting moment we were treated to an attacking trio of Costa, Teixeira and Cavaleiro. When Zenga left, Lambert wasn’t a fan of him and saw him shunted to Nottingham Forest where he flattered to deceive.
Maybe if he had been given more time in the team with better players his future might have been different. But when you consider how the likes of Costa performed in 2016-17, it’s difficult not to question his character.
Cameron Borthwick-Jackson – On loan from Manchester United
After several standout performances for Manchester United, CBJ was sent out to get quality and consistent 1st team experience to continue his progression.
When a natural right back (Doherty) and a centre midfielder (Saville) are both ahead of you in the pecking order for your natural postion, you’ve should proably take a long hard look in the mirror.
Disappointed by the lack of game time Wolves were giving the youngster, Manchester United then refused to loan Wolves Sam Johnstone.
Borthwick Jackson has since been on loan to Leeds, where he made one appearance and his loan was cut short. Considering those early games in red, it would be a real shame to see a poor attitude get in the way of him making it at a good level in football.
Roderick Miranda – £2m from Rio Ave
Wolves were in need of defensive reinforcements last summer following Williamson and Stearman leaving the club and Miranda was only of Nuno’s first acquisitions.
Coming from continental Europe, the perception was that he was going to be a classy ball-playing centre half to build up play out from the back. But compared to Boly who has the footwork of a no. 10 and even Ryan Bennett, Miranda didn’t seem at ease in possession. In early games he was easily outfoxed by opposition centre forwards and looked like the weak link in the team in opening few games.
If the Mendes player revolving door is in full flow in the summer, it would not be a surprise to see him go back to Portugal.
Andy Lonergan signed 3 weeks before Wolves were taken over by Fosun and as he wasn’t bought in under their ownership doesn’t feature on this list.
Despite my fairly damming critique of 10 people fair better at football than me, I’m actually quite a nice guy, which is why I didn’t put Rafa Mir on this list. He has all the makings of being a dud signing, but just felt he needs a little more time before cementing a position on here
When the Fosun Group have invested bigger sums of money, those signings have tended to pay off. Costa, Cavaleiro and Saiss all arrived for £5m+ and although t might have taken longer than 12 months in some case, have earned their price tag
Wolves have utilised loan market more effectively second year compared to the first year under Fosun. The rush to bring in new players meant a scatter gun approach to signings which meant to every Costa we had an Ola John. When you look at this year’s temporary dealings, they’ve all filled their individual purposes.