If you were wondering whether every single member of Fernando Santos’ Euro 2020 Portugal squad has played for, or been linked with, Wolves during the past four years, we wouldn’t blame you – and these days it’s Joao Palhinha who appears to be attracting admiring glances from Molineux.
According to A Bola, the Sporting Lisbon powerhouse has emerged as Bruno Lage’s number one choice to reinforce a rather one-paced Wolverhampton Wanderers midfield.
And while much has been made of Palhinha’s tackling skills – he averaged 3.3 successful challenges as Sporting won their first Primeira Liga title since 2002 last season – there’s clearly more to his game than that.
Wolves want Euro 2020 star Palhinha
Coming off the bench at half-time to make his first appearance at Euro 2020, Palhinha had Wolves supporters up and down the land drooling when he dispossessed Jules Kounde and then N’Golo Kante with perfectly timed sliding tackles, executed a brilliant one-two and then, to top it off, left Paul Pogba looking silly with an inspired nutmeg.
Questions have been asked over whether Palhinha was really worth his £25 million price tag.
That moment alone – a sublime mix of technique and tenacity, elegance and aggression – should give you your answer.
Palhinha has also been linked with Everton and Leicester City, although Wolves may have an ace up their sleeve. Sporting are desperate to sign Ruben Vinagre and a player-plus-swap deal can’t be discounted at this stage.
And, while the sample size is admittedly small, Palhinha’s 45-minute cameo on the biggest of stages has only increased the clamour for a man who slipped through Wolves’ fingers 12 months ago.
The message from some Wolves supporters on Twitter was clear – don’t let history repeat itself. Let’s see what they had to say: