Wolverhampton Wanderers have made a disappointing start to the Premier League season so far, but some Wolves players still shine in our Power Rankings topped by Ruben Neves.
The Molineux natives entered the international break after their third defeat of the term in seven games. Bruno Lage’s squad have only managed to take one win across their opening fixtures with a 1-0 result over Southampton, following three draws to see in the campaign.
Goals have been thin and far between, as well, with the West Midlands outfit only finding the back of the net three times. No team has scored fewer goals than Wolves or West Ham United, who have also hit just three and only sit a spot below Lage’s side in just 18th place.
Wolves would have hoped to challenge, at least, for the top-half positions and possibly the European places this season. Lage also spent £115.5m on signings this summer, including a club-record £42m deal with Sporting Lisbon for Matheus Nunes, and critically kept Neves.
Lage will now have his eyes fixed on taking a win when Wolves visit West Ham on October 1 in a 17:30 kick-off. Defeat in west London would drop his Molineux side into the bottom three, but a victory at the London Stadium would allow Wolves to build some momentum.
The West Midlands outfit’s trip to the capital will also offer some players a chance to find form. Many have failed to hit great heights during Wolves’ disappointing start to the term, so now rank lowly in HITC Sport’s Power Rankings for the Premier League season so far…
Retaining Ruben Neves was critical as Wolves captain tops early Power Rankings
Retaining Neves over the summer was critical for Wolves, with the Portuguese taking over their captaincy with Conor Coady joining Everton. The 25-year-old has lived up to the extra responsibilities, and offered the opening goal during a 1-1 draw against Newcastle United.
Arsenal and Manchester United had considered chasing a deal for Neves over the transfer window. But The Sun reports both baulked at paying Wolves’ £80m asking price, much to Lage’s delight no doubt with Neves pulling the strings with some classy displays this term.
Max Kilman is emerging as the new leader of Wolves’ defence
Max Kilman ranks highly in our Power Rankings from Wolves’ start to the season as he is emerging as the new leader from Lage’s defence. The centre-back has had some dominant displays while he grows in confidence, coping well against physical strikers and on the ball.
Jose Sa is providing Wolves with a solid foundation to chase results
Jose Sa is providing Wolves with a solid foundation whilst they try and chase results with a strong presence between the sticks. The 29-year-old has commanded his penalty area well and taken control in the air, while occasionally freeing them to start quick counter attacks.
Goncalo Guedes has been Wolves’ best buy so far this season
Goncalo Guedes has been Wolves’ best player from their summer signings so far this term. Lage paid Valencia £27.5m for their Portugal attacker in August, with the 25-year-old going on to offer a lively and creative presence as he tries to kick their difficult season into gear.
Matheus Nunes proving to be a classy club-record purchase
Nunes is proving to be a classy operator since his club-record transfer to Wolves in August, worth £38m before add-ons. The 24-year-old has played with a confidence to set the tone in games and has come close to scoring. But he has not always offered the desired impact.
Red card against Manchester City costs Nathan Collins in Wolves Power Rankings
A red card against Manchester City prior to the international break has cost Nathan Collins in our Wolves Power Rankings. Anthony Taylor sent the defender off for a high foul on Jack Grealish, blotting Collins’ copybook after being a strong defensive presence in most games.
Pedro Neto is trying hard to carry Bruno Lage’s side without the end product
Pedro Neto is trying hard to carry Lage’s side to better results in the Premier League. But it has not always worked out for the 22-year-old, who is yet to score or lay on an assist after seven starts. Had he had more quality in the final-third, Wolves may be higher in the table.
Daniel Podence may have two goals, but has left a lot on the table
Daniel Podence is Wolves’ top-scorer so far this season with two of their three goals. But a lack of consistency from the 26-year-old has seen Lage drop him to the bench twice. The winger can find pockets of space to cause endless problems, but his impact has not lasted.
Early injury has held Joao Moutinho back from finding his peak form
Joao Moutinho picked up a knock in training ahead of Wolves’ opening game against Leeds United in August. The 36-year-old needed a bit of extra time to get up to speed due to the injury, and has not always managed to offer his usually busy presence in the engine room.
Opponents have found ways to target Jonny Castro in dangerous positions
Jonny Castro has shown he can read the game well to snuff out danger and push up on the wings to offer support. But his defending has sometimes been questionable as teams find ways to target the Spaniard in dangerous positions, especially when played as a right-back.