With the new season fast approaching, Jamie Allen looks at what might be for Wolves in the upcoming campaign.
As pre-season training commences ahead of the 2016/17 season, many Wolves fans are not as optimistic in comparison to recent years. But what can we expect from a side with several young players still finding their feet in professional football. Are we facing another transitional year or can we dream of a top 6 finish?
The end of last season was quite stagnant for Wolves who showed no sign of relegation or having the credentials for a promotion push. The slide to mediocrity was certainly not helped by a plague of injuries which left the team lacking any clinical edge. This seems to have hushed any pre season gossip of the team achieving promotion. The lack of focus on the team could in fact work in their favour not having the weight of expectation on their shoulders.
Wolves have many young talents who have the capability of surprising fans and spectators alike as the season progresses. In defence full backs Kortney Hause and Dominic Iorfa has developed rapidly over the past 12 months. Iorfa who earned a training session with the England senior team and both played a key role in England’s U-21 triumph at the end of season tournament in Toulon. Iorfa and Hause can certainly continue to progress playing alongside more mature team mate Mike Williamson to create a confident, organised back four.
In midfield, Kevin McDonald could be a key link if he can play with more freedom. Alongside McDonald, Connor Coady and Jordan Graham show signs of great potential. Coady made 39 appearances last year and has enjoyed success in the junior ranks at England. Whereas Graham made 12 appearances, scoring one goal, a catalogue of assists and several man of the match performances. Unfortunately his season was cut short with a cruciate knee ligament injury.
Going forward Wolves can welcome back the likes of striker Nouha Dicko and wide players Jordan Graham and Michael Zyro. All three players impressed throughout a number of games when they featured. Sadly they all suffered with long term injuries through the course of last season. Their return at various stages can be the missing clinical edge which deemed elusive towards the end of last season.
It’s clear Wolves have the resources and capability of forming a solid squad with a mixture of both older and younger players ready to push for a starting XI. Having said this, a younger Wolves side could be at a disadvantage if not up to challenge.
Time will only tell if Jackett’s men can turn a few heads this season. Many Wolves fans have already speculated his managerial tactics are capable of achieving promotion to the Premier League. If so, this could lead to a chain of events that could see the sacking of Kenny Jackett.
Wolves’ season could be an historical one if rumours about the Chinese billionaire Robin Li turn out to be true. Alongside an apparent takeover bid, ex Porto manager Julen Lopetegui takes the rains down at Molineux. Again, fans will have to wait to see if the stories are true.
In an official statement from the club Jez Moxley responded to the ongoing speculation by saying:
“Following the decision to make Wolves available for sale last September there has been a lot of interest from a number of different sources around the world.”
The statement will only lead to further speculation as to who exactly these “sources” are. However, as for now it’s business as usually down at Wolves training ground site in Compton.
It’s hard to tell where we’ll finish considering last season and the current takeover/management rumours. However I think we’ll push on from last year but not make t to the top six and finish 9th.