It’s a measure of the quality in the current Wolves’ squad that Bakary Sako, one of their finest players of the last few years, would be far from guaranteed a place in the starting XI.
Malian international Sako was a huge fans’ favourite during his three years at Molineux, his ability to produce something rather spectacular out of very little making him one of the most exciting and explosive players outside of the Premier League.
In three seasons, two in the Championship sandwiching one campaign in League One, Sako scored 38 goals in all competitions – not bad for a winger. These days, however, Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo can call on arguably the second tier’s most naturally gifted player, Atletico Madrid loanee Diogo Jota, while the enigmatic Helder Costa is set to return from injury soon.
Though you could still forgive Sako for wishing he had been granted the chance to don the ‘old gold’ again this season. The Express and Star reported in the summer that the France-born flyer was on Wolves’ shortlist this summer while Sako also re-tweeted a fan asking him to return to Molinuex to crank up speculation of a return.
And it’s fair to say there is far more optimism around Wolves right now than Sako’s current club, Crystal Palace. While Wolves are second in the Championship table and have emerged as genuine promotion favourites, Palace already looked doomed in the top flight.
After seven games, they have no points and no goals to their name and Sako made only his first appearance of a frustrating season in Saturday’s 4-0 defeat to Manchester United – albeit in an unfamiliar centre-forward role.
If Nuno’s in-form side returned for their former player in January, who could blame Sako for jumping ship while Palace and Wolves looking likely to swap divisions?