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24/1/2023 | 07:45am

Wolverhampton Wanderers have loved a powerful switch window as far as Julen Lopetegui goals to place his personal stamp on the crew following a collection of ill-judged signings by his predecessor Bruno Lage.

Lopetegui has already shipped out Goncalo Guedes to Benfica on mortgage after he struggled to impress in the course of the first half of the season, whereas Matheus Nunes and Diego Costa have additionally failed to say their authority at Molineux – neither ranks within the squad’s high 12 performers in line with WhoScored.

January arrivals embrace Matheus Cunha, Craig Dawson, Mario Lemina and Pablo Sarabia, and Wolves ought to now have sufficient to keep away from relegation from the Premier League this 12 months.

The 56-year-old will possible add one other one or two new faces earlier than the switch window closes subsequent week, though he might repeat one in every of his predecessor’s errors as Wolves have lately linked with a transfer for West Ham United striker Michail Antonio.

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Lage signed Costa in September with the premise that the previous Chelsea predator might rating the objectives that Wolves so urgently required. It hasn’t precisely turned out that approach, although, with the 34-year-old failing to search out the web throughout 11 matches in all competitions in Outdated Gold.

Lage discovered the onerous approach that signing ageing gamers who’ve had success within the Premier League earlier than isn’t at all times the right transfer, and Lopetegui could be on the right track to repeat that ought to he signal Antonio.

As soon as dubbed “horrifying” by Harry Redknapp, the £85k-per-week machine nonetheless has the tempo to terrorise defenders, though his performances this season have taken a downward flip for the reason that goalscoring exploits of final time period.

The 32-year-old scored 13 objectives in all competitions throughout 2021/22 as he spearheaded the membership to a Europa League semi-final look whereas securing seventh place within the Premier League desk, however he has to this point failed to duplicate these performances in the course of the present marketing campaign.

Certainly, Antonio has scored simply 5 instances in 26 appearances this time period, with solely two of these coming within the Premier League. Additionally, having averaged 2.3 pictures and 1.3 key passes per match final season, these have dropped to only 1.1 pictures and 0.5 key passes per sport, exhibiting an apparent decline.

Lopetegui will likely be seeking to construct a crew which isn’t solely able to avoiding relegation this season however then in a position to push into the highest half and probably problem for the European locations in 2023/24. With that in thoughts, signing a participant who will flip 33 within the subsequent couple of months must be prevented.

Costa has been a colossal disappointment throughout his spell at Molineux to this point, and signing Antonio might effectively go the identical approach if his 2022/23 trajectory is any barometer.

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