A big challenge still awaits Wolverhampton Wanderers this season

Nuno Espirito Santo the manager

Wolves have kicked off their Premier League return very well but their ambitions will still face a test.

Nuno Espirito Santo the manager

Wolverhampton Wanderers are safe from any relegation fears at the start of the season, although any that were around were more of a default fear for a promoted side rather than any actual expectation.

Nuno Espirito Santo's team were never going to play with the same style and confidence as they did on storming to the Championship title last season but they certainly look at home in the Premier League.

European prospects, a prediction of some thanks to their showings last season, look out of the question so Wolves are left in a slightly strange position.

Pinpointing their biggest challenge is not simple, seeing as they could feasibly see out the rest of the season quite comfortably where they are.

 

Instead, you need to look at what this season really is for Wolves - one of consolidation in the Premier League, establishing a base from which they can chase their real ambitions.

The biggest problem a club faces when they attempt to grow is keeping their momentum and their best players, and it's there that Wolves have their challenge.

The likes of Ruben Neves will naturally have suitors and if Wolves don't demonstrate that they can grow quickly, their top players will be very tempted to move on.

Leicester City finally lost Riyad Mahrez last summer after failing to push on from their title win and establish themselves as one of the elite.

Ruben Neves of Wolverhampton Wanderers and Jordan Henderson of Liverpool  during the Premier League match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Liverpool FC at Molineux on December 21, 2018...

No one actually expected the Foxes to do that, however, and that should really highlight the extent of the challenge Wolves face if they want to achieve lofty ambitions - a league title isn't enough, you have to keep progressing.

Therefore the second half of the season is all about showing the potential of the side and their ability to challenge for Europe next season.

Do that, and the players will surely stay and the club can continue to move forward. Fail, and they may see themselves taking a small step back.

Conor Coady the Wolverhampton Wanderers captain issues instructions during the Premier League match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Liverpool FC at Molineux on December 21, 2018 in...

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