Wolves blog: How did Wolves do in the transfer market?
There was a tinge of disappointment after Wolves didn’t land Zinchenko – but overall, no complaints can be had...writes Wolves blogger Tom Tracey.
The very first signings back in June were a statement of intent. A Mexican international striker who had plied his trade at Atletico and Benfica – and not in their reserves.
Raul Jiminez signed just in time for Wolves fans to be able to take in his World Cup as one of their own.
But what came next was bigger - an international goalkeeper regarded as one of the best in Europe was a shock.
On the day England kicked off their World Cup campaign, many Wolves fans were probably far more excited at the news Rui Patricio had joined the club.
To get him on a free transfer – as it stands – was the icing on the cake, but this signalled a change in the type of signing Wolves were able to attract.
We had spent the previous two years bringing in players with potential – but this was an already established player for a big club in Sporting Lisbon.
A Portuguese centurion joined Wolves next – Joao Moutinho is a well-known name within football and, for me, this is the signing of the window at a cool £5 million.
The next day, in came full back Jonny, before a long pursuit of Adama Traore ended in Fosun breaking Wolves’ transfer record yet again.
And on deadline day, Leander Dendoncker completed Wolves’ spending, albeit on a loan-with-obligation-to-buy deal.
On the face of it, this all appears fantastic business for a newly promoted club. But omitted from this list are the group of loanees from last season who have joined Wolves permanently.
Diogo Jota, Willy Boly, Ruben Vinagre and Leo Bonatini have all extended their Molineux stays, having all impressed at least for periods of last season – particularly Jota and Boly.
All in all, six new recruits and four loanee purchases mean Wolves hit double figures for transfers in. They have strengthened most areas of the park without altering the make-up of the squad.
Traore will be one to watch, as he dazzled the Championship with his pace and flair. Under the tutelage of Nuno, he could become Wolves’ wildcard in the front three. It is unlikely many Premier League defenders are looking forward to facing him.
Ruben Neves is likely to flourish even more playing alongside his countryman Moutinho – between the pair, they have a better radar system than your average submarine.
In terms of outgoings, two really stand out. The first is Benik Afobe, who made his loan move permanent before being shipped straight to Stoke.
Ultimately, he was a slight square peg in a round hole in Nuno’s formation. He proved over two spells he knows where the net is, but if he doesn’t fit, it makes sense to move him on at a profit.
The second is the departure of Barry Douglas, made more poignant by the rejection from Oleksandr Zinchenko.
Wolves now have Vinagre, Jonny and Matt Doherty as natural wing backs – a fourth would have complemented this group and left the squad perfectly balanced.
Whether or not Wolves had doubts about Douglas’ ability to play in the Premier League, this transfer was sad to witness after he performed so well for us last season. But we must trust the Wolves hierarchy, who delivered such great success last season.
Minus the blip of not replacing Douglas, Wolves had a perfect transfer window, probably among the best in the Premier League.
Fulham and Everton have also done impressive business, albeit with a flurry of late signings that smacks slightly of desperation. I was sceptical of Everton signing Richarlison for such a big fee, but their business since – including two Wolves-linked players in Andre Gomes and Yerry Mina – is good and it will be a great test against them this weekend.
All the talk of Wolves ‘buying their way’ up the Premier League pales into insignificance when you look at Fulham, who are reportedly the first promoted club to spend more than £100 million after promotion.
In fairness to both promoted clubs, there will be very few predicting their relegation come May.
Now the transfer window is closed, we can focus on what really matters. Battling for three points in front of a packed out Molineux.