The improvements made by Wolverhampton Wanderers this season cannot be underestimated. Few will be surprised by the fact that the Black Country giants are top of the Championship table after 16 games played.
After all, Wolves are bankrolled by Chinese owners, aided by super-agent Jorge Mendes and can boast the Championship’s all-time record signing in Ruben Neves – not to mention the league’s most in-form player in Atletico Madrid loanee Diogo Jota.
It’s easy to forget, however, that an underwhelming and unfashionable Wolves side finished 15th in the second tier last season, flanked by Barnsley and Ipswich. Clearly, the club owes much to Mendes, the de-facto ‘sporting director’ whose connections have given Wolves access to players beyond their wildest dreams.
Neves, Jota, Helder Costa, Ivan Cavaleiro and even manager Nuno Espirito Santo are all Mendes clients. And they would surely not have given Molineux, or the Championship as a whole, a second thought without the influence of their omnipotent agent.
And with The Record claiming that the Portuguese is helping Wolves beat a bonafide Premier League giant in Arsenal to the signature of Benfica starlet Joao Carvalho, it’s clear just how beneficial having a man like Mendes on board can be.
Before his influence began in 2016, Wolves could never have believed that they would be about to beat three-time Premier League winners and Champions League regulars Arsenal to the signature of a Portugal Under-21 international.
Carvalho has never played a senior game for Benfica, but is a player with real potential. Wolves, thanks to Mendes, look to be on the verge of another eye-catching signing.