Since arriving back in the Premier League in 2018, Wolverhampton Wanderers fans really couldn’t have asked for a great deal more.
The club qualified for the Europa League in their first season back in the top tier – a competition they are flourishing in currently – and they look set to challenge for a Champions League place this season.
As a result of their great success, speculation surrounding the future of their stars has gathered pace. Adama Traore and Raul Jimenez are just two examples of players likely to be involved in a transfer tug-of-war sooner or later.
So, as the club looks to firmly settle among the European places year in and year out, recruitment will be key. While Wolves will be desperate to keep a hold of their big-name players, replacing some of them may just be a necessity.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at what Wolves’ dream squad would look like for next season, if everything goes to plan.
Though you would be right to say that Wolves‘ summer business should be focused around tying players down to the club, there is always room for improvements. Who the Midlands club bring in may just dictate whether or not they can aim even higher next season.
Milot Rashica – While the Kosovo international has been linked with the likes of Liverpool following a superb season with Werder Bremen, Wolves will be able to provide the 23-year-old with consistent first-team football, and potential European adventures. £25m.
James Rodriguez – Now this transfer may live in the realms of fantasy for Wolves, but given the downwards trajectory of the Real Madrid man’s career, anything is possible. Despite Los Blancos reportedly wanting in the region of £70m, Nuno Espirito Santo’s side will be hopeful of striking a deal for much less. £40m
Christian Luyindama – With Wolves set up to field three centre-backs, Santo can never have too many defenders in his ranks. The latest man linked with Molineux is Galatasaray defender Luyindama, who is currently recovering from a cruciate ligament injury. £13m.
Ryan Manning – With versatility always a bonus, Queens Park Rangers left-back Manning has attracted interest from Wolves. The 23-year-old Irishman can also play further forward on the left or in central midfield. £7m.
Franck Kessie – The Milan midfielder could be on his way out of Italy in the next transfer window and what better place to go than Wolves? With cover needed for Ruben Neves and an ageing Joao Moutinho, a deal for the 23-year-old would be sensible business. £25m.
Islam Slimani – There haven’t been any substantial rumours linking Slimani with a move across the Midlands, but given his Leicester career seems to be over, he could provide some much-needed backup for Jimenez up front. £12m.
Max Kilman – Contract Extension
Potential Spend: £122m
It must be said that deals for all of the above players will likely be a ‘dream’ rather than a reality for Wolves this summer.
Now this is where Wolves need to stay strong. Huge amounts of cash are likely to be thrown their way for the services of their star players, but while such deals could benefit their bank balance, the club must do everything in their power to resist temptation.
Ryan Bennett – Having moved to Leicester on loan in January, it appears the 30-year-old’s days are numbered at Molineux. £5m.
Leo Bonatini – While the Brazilian may have found success with Wolves in the Championship, the jump to the Premier League seems a little too steep. The 26-year-old is currently out on loan with Vitoria Guimaraes. £7m.
Jordan Graham – The 25-year-old, currently on loan at League One Gillingham, will see his contract expire this summer. Free.
Roderick Miranda – If you’re wondering who the hell this guy is, then that probably indicates how Wolves feel about the defender, who is currently out on loan with Famalicao. £3m.
John Ruddy – The English journeyman’s contract expires this summer, with Mike Norris – returning from his Ipswich loan come the end of the season – likely to become Wolves’ number two goalkeeper. Free.
Bruno Jordao, Ming-Yang Yang, Luke Matheson, Rafa Mir and Connor Ronan – Loan
Potential Sales: £15m
Wolves will be incredibly reluctant to let the likes of Traore, Jimenez and Diogo Jota go, even though all three have been linked with lucrative moves away from the club this summer. But keeping hold of these players would be the ‘dream’ scenario for Santo.
The rest of their outgoings in an ideal world would see them simply trim the edges of their squad, with the club more than contented with their current predicament.
Full First-Team Squad for 2020/21 in a Dream Scenario (inc. Squad Numbers)
|1.||Rui Patricio (new squad number)|
|3.||Christian Luyindama (new signing)|
|5.||Conor Coady (new squad number)|
|11.||Adama Traore (new squad number)|
|12.||Franck Kessie (new signing)|
|13.||Milot Rashica (new signing)|
|16.||Islam Slimani (new signing)|
|20.||James Rodriguez (new signing)|
|21.||Will Norris (new squad number)|
|31.||Ryan Manning (new signing)|
|34.||Max Kilman (new squad number)|