Totally Buzzed is previewing every single Premier League team ahead of the 2021/2022 campaign and now it is the turn of Wolves.
How last season went:
After finishing 7th with 59 points in the 2019-20 campaign, it’s hard not to feel like Wolves disappointed last season. Nuno Espirito Santo’s side finished 13th in the 2020-21 season with 45 points, which is notably 14 points less than the season before, and shows how they didn’t really kick on. It was clear goalscoring was Wolves’ problem as only four teams scored fewer goals than them, and they were the four bottom teams. It’s worth pointing out that Wolves’ struggles for goals weren’t helped by some bad luck as the club lost star striker Raul Jimenez to injury in November after he suffered a fractured skull during the 2-1 win against Arsenal. As for other competitions, there wasn’t too much to write home about. Wolves shockingly exited the EFL Cup in the second round after losing 1-0 to Championship outfit Stoke City, while Southampton eliminated them in the fifth round of the FA Cup as the Saints recorded a 2-0 win at the Molineux. Santo departed the Wolves dugout following the conclusion of the season and was replaced by Bruno Lage, so it’ll be interesting to see how big a difference that change of personnel makes.
Wolves’ Premier League Stats – 2020/21:
*According to the PremierLeague.com*
Wolves Player Stats – 2020/21:
Top Scorer Across All Competitions: Pedro Neto – 5 goals in 35 appearances (0.17 goals per 90minutes, 544 minutes per goal) and Ruben Neves – 5 goals in 40 appearances (0.15 goals per 90minutes, 594 minutes per goal)
Most Assists Across All Competitions: Neto – 6 assists in 35 matches (1.69 chances created per 90minutes)
Most Assists – Premier League Only: Neto – 6 assists in 31 outings
Most Tackles Per Game (On Average) – Premier League Only: Ruben Vinagre (3.5 tackles per match)
Most Minutes Played Across Premier League Fixtures – Top 3:
- Rui Patricio (3330 minutes) 2.Conor Coady (3304 minutes) 3. Nelson Semedo (2988 minutes)
1st five league fixtures:
Leicester City (A): Leicester City achieved a narrow 1-0 win over Wolves when hosting them at the King Power Stadium in November, but had to settle for a 0-0 draw when the two sides clashed at the Molineux in February.
Tottenham (H): Spurs could only manage a 1-1 draw with Wolves at the Molineux in December, but had no issues cruising to a 2-0 victory over Santo’s side when hosting them at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in May under Mason’s guidance.
Manchester United (H): Man United got the better of Wolves on both the occasions they faced each other last season as they recorded a 1-0 victory at Old Trafford before winning 2-1 at the Molineux Stadium in May.
Watford (A): Wolves lost 2-1 to a 10-man Watford side when the teams last clashed at Vicarage Road, however it’s worth noting their last match came back on New Year’s Day 2020 and a lot has changed about both clubs since then.
Brentford (H): Wolves brushed Brentford aside the last time the two sides met, as they achieved a 3-0 win when hosting them at the Molineux in January 2018. However, it wasn’t a clean sweep for Wolves against Brentford during that Championship campaign, as the London club earned a 0-0 draw when hosting them at Griffin Park.
Wolves Fan Perspective: Cuchulainn96 (Reddit)/BigBadWolves37 (Twitter)
Best Player: Personally I think Adama Traore is the best player at the club, but he still has room to improve. His numbers, in terms of output, dropped last season, not through his own fault but through the injury of Raul Jimenez and Neto. I’m hoping with Jimenez back now, Traore will have a big, physical player to pick out again in the box, which will allow him to really show his capabilities once again. Traore is totally unique in world football and a joy to watch, that’s why he gets my vote here. I do think Jimenez could be classified as our best player, but after such a traumatic injury we will have to wait and see if he can return to his old form.
Promising Youngster: Wolves have a very young squad, the obvious standout in this category is Fabio Silva. Silva had to take a much more prominent role than was ever expected of him last season, due to Jimenez’ injury. Despite being 18 at the time he outshone Willian José, a seasoned striker who we got in on loan from La Liga. José was supposed to play a similar role to Jimenez but never found his feet. Silva ultimately won back the striker spot proving his capability to outplay seasoned professionals. Other players who deserve a mention here are Rayan Aït-Nouri and Owen Otasowie, both young and exciting talents who could play a key role for Wolves this season.
The player who is likely to surprise people (underrated/less known): I think this comes down to two players, the first being Daniel Podence, who has been criticised for not having the physicality necessary to play in the Premier League. However, last season despite a recurring injury, he showed moments of absolute brilliance, the stand out being the goal he scored against Arsenal where he managed to dribble the ball over the goalkeeper and finish well, he also nutmegged Kevin DeBruyne which should tell you everything you need to know about his confidence. If he can remain injury-free I think he may shock a few people with his ability. The second is Traore as many people have written him off, stating his end product is poor. I think if we see Jimenez back to his best, we’ll see Traore’s returns skyrocket.
Thoughts on the manager: New manager (Bruno Lage), very excited to see some attacking football as that is his wheelhouse. We haven’t seen enough of him to pass judgment but I don’t see Wolves sacking him this year as that’s not really the way the club like to operate.
Worried About/Weakness of squad: Despite having good defensive statistics last season, defence is the area of most concern. We showed frailty every time we tried to transition to a back four and I believe we need to bring in at least one strong, proven centre-back before the season starts.
Dream Transfer: For the reasons stated above, a proven centre-back, similar to a Van Dijk or Rúben Dias.
Realistic Transfer: Zouma, Tapsoba or Lacroix. Would require splashing some cash but would improve the squad considerably. I’d also love to see us bring Vitinha back to the club, he was on loan with us last season and it’s clear he’s a very talented player with a big future ahead of him.
Player you fear leaving: Traore and Neves, they are two of our best players but I do not believe they’ve reached their full potential yet, I’d love to see them at the club for years to come! I don’t believe it’s the right market to sell either in, as their stock is low coming off the back of a disappointing season.
League Expectation: The goal each season is European football, so top 6 is what the club asks of the manager and the players.
League Prediction: 5th-9th depending on how the new manager’s style adapts to the league.
Biggest Rival This Season/Love It If We Beat them: Our closest rival that are still in the Premier League is Aston Villa. However, I think our success will be measured against Leicester as their club seems to be running well and are imposing themselves in the top 6 more regularly, as this is a similar goal for Wolves I think they are a team we will view our success or shortcomings against. With all that being said, if we could draw West Brom in a cup run and trounce them, I think all Wolves fans would be delighted!