With Wolves proud history of using their youth academy, Michael Spencer looks at whether Nuno will look towards the youngsters.
Wolverhampton Wanderers has reaped benefits of having a very fruitful youth academy. a
Along with category 1 facilities through the years, producing household names such as Robbie Keane and Joleon Lescott, as well as many current first team players such as Danny Batth, Carl Ikeme, and Jack Price.
It’s always exciting as a Wolves fan to see the next young player making waves for the under 23s, scraping away at the chance of achieving first team action.
However, whether or not they are given that all comes down to whoever is the head coach.
Since FOSUN took over the club at the beginning of last season we have had four of them.
Each with different approaches towards giving young players the first team appearances they all work hard for.
The first of which was Kenny Jacket who handed out many league debuts and in many ways, shaped the starting eleven that we see today.
With Jacket however not every young player introduced into first team football was set to be the next Robbie Keane, remember Jake Cassidy?
We try not to.
Then came the unexpected appointment of Walter Zenga following the sacking of Kenny Jacket.
His whole approach to giving young players first team action (in the little time he had) was, to put it simply, “No”, which left many fans, including myself feeling a little disappointed.
As it turned out this, with other factors, could have proved a costly mistake as Zenga only lasted until mid October.
In his wake, many young players who were impressing youth coaches passed the first team threshold under Paul Lambert.
Lambert took a different stance, handing out deserved first team debuts to young stars such as Connor Ronan, Morgan Gibbs-White and Donovan Wilson.
They wowed the Molineux crowds and left many fans wondering what other talents linger in our youth setup.
It will now be interesting to see whether or not new Jorge Mendes backed head coach Nuno Espírito Santo will take any chances in giving any more young players runs in the first team. e
Especially in a season where the steaks for promotion are so high.
Well to answer any concerns that they may have: yes. He most likely will.
As Nuno expressed in his first interview as Wolves head coach, what he looks for is players who are capable of playing good football, and those who are willing to work for their chance.
When you look at our current under 23 squad, you can see a handful players who could be quality first team contenders come the end of this season; Donovan Wilson, Niall Ennis, Christian Herc, Aaron Simpson.
Connor Ronan impressed many fans in the second half of last season and has already featured consistently in the friendlies so far.
With Iorfa leaving on loan and Ofosu-Ayeh injured; Simpson has a chance to challenge Doherty on the right hand side.
This number is being added to constantly with several recent acquisitions; Enzo Sauvage, Ruben Vinagr, Boubacar Hanne, Pedro Goncalves, Carlos Heredia.
With names like that you can’t not be a class footballer. Oh and don’t forget the mighty Duckens Nazon.
It is pretty inescapable that Nuno will at some point be forced, either by his own hand, or through the recommendation of Scott Sellars, blood some of the young recruits capable of playing at the highest levels of football.
For Mr Nuno Espirito Santo, playing youngsters should be a case of when, not if.