As the start of the season edges closer, David Evans looks at whether Wolves fans should be worried about the clubs lack of incoming transfers.
Don’t get me wrong, with 17 days left until the start of the new football season, I’m am a little worried about the transfer activity down at Molineux.
However, with the ‘now, now, now’ expectation and the brewing storm of anxiety and panic of social media, should we be getting too concerned with the lack of incoming so far this summer?
In my opinion, the aim has been a striker, a winger to replace Sako and a central defender to compete with Batth and Stearman.
So far, Wolves have brought in two midfielders in the shape of Jed Wallace (Free) and Conor Coady (£2 million). More midfielders to add to our ever growing collection.
Did we need them? Time will tell. But if you see a chance to grab an opportunity, why turn it down? Perhaps Jackett and co took the same approach when bringing in the two new additions to our squad.
Let’s compare this to where Wolves were this time last season. Well, it was all dejavu.
Wolves had only brought in two midfielders, on a free, in the shape of Tommy Rowe and Rajiv Van La Parra. It wasn’t until near the end of August that Wolves brought in their third signing, George Saville from Chelsea.
All a bit familiar don’t you think?
Narrowing the field
With reports that Jackett will look to deploy a more narrow approach next season, this will influence the candidates Wolves can find.
Players will need to be good on the ball, find spaces and cut inside. Wingers might be far down on the priority list. Speculation on a departure of James Henry to Charlton adds more fuel to this fire.
Sako will be a huge loss but he almost acted as the third striker rather than a winger. With this potential new approach, we may not see a like for like replacement.
Once again a striker is the most important transfer. A huge amount of patience paid off in January with the signing of Benik Afobe from Arsenal. However, it doesn’t mean that gamble will work again.
The blessing we have this summer compared to last is that we have two quality strikers in our arsenal. If one is injured, we have the other to step up.
What last season proved however was that Wolves attack is highly reliant on Dicko. Although Afobe will provide the goals, he is not a lone striker. Dicko’s pace and tenacity is a driving force behind Wolves attack.
Wolves either need a cover for which displays his DNA , or a player with a different dynamic. This will mean that Wolves can flip to a ‘Plan B’ at the flick of the switch.
Afobe and Dicko are on the front of the grid. Wolves need to bring in a third striker who can compete but is happy to sit on the bench and be at times a bit part player. That type of player may be difficult to find.
The type of player/s Wolves may require will now be more specific. Therefore, the search for the right candidate may take longer.
The right character
Take out two or three duds, most of Jackett’s transfer activity at Wolves has been a success. Coady, Rowe, Saville and Wallace are still unknown entities to judge.
The impression I perceive is that Wolves are after the right type of character (ignore the Brendan Rogers quote going through your head). A good egg, down to earth, easily adapts and molds into a squad and are under 25.
Gone are the days where Wolves will throw money at players and ramp up the wage package. Gone are the days that the big earners of Johnson and O’Hara will grace the club again.
Moxey is being very careful with the purse strings. Only paying out for what the club believes is the right player. Both on and off the pitch.
However, could this have an adverse effect? Are Wolves so stringent on who they sign and how much they spend that they’re indeed missing out on realistic targets? Perhaps.
Wolves will be criticised for missing out to other teams on top talent, especially with the apparent money available to compete. But Wolves will also miss the bullets.
Take Andy Derlort as an example. Wolves bid £3 million for the Tours striker last August but missed out on wage demands to Wigan Atheltic. After eleven appearances and no goals for the Lactics, Delort returned to Tours on loan before signing for Caen this summer.
Since Jackett’s arrival, bringing through academy players into the first team has been part of his blueprint. Batth, Hause, Iorfa, Price and McAlinden have all graced the starting XI. This will surely continue.
Wolves have invested in a new category one academy. Helping to bring through the Keane’s, Lescott’s and Murray’s of the future.
If we have invested money into our youth, why spend more on other players and ignore them? If the talent is there to develop, they will be brought in.
I for one will admit that it is easy to get caught up in the cat fight of social media. This can be a flurry of comments and tweets when a deal falls through. Or as I’m discussing here, the silence in transfer activity.
Another question for another time, but has social media created an inpatient and negative society for football, changing the expectations which we may have held before?
Social media is a great way to gauge fan feedback but it can also cause a huge public pressure on a club. Playing this game right could be as tricky as signing a player.
That questions is pretty deep. I’ll let you all ponder on that one for another time.
Time to play the game…
Transfers are always a risk. It’s a game of poker that Wolves are playing every day. With every conversation with every agent and player that we don’t even know has taken place.
In our lives we will make big decisions. For example, taking out a loan or applying for a mortgage. These come with huge financial repercussions amongst other things. Would you rush to a decision? Not likely.
What’s not to say that this isn’t the same with signing players?
Clubs are more like a business in today’s game. They are investing their money into assets which need to produce results.
Unless you have a billionaire backer with an unlimited supply of cash, right minded football clubs have to be more careful on the purchases they make and the risks they take.
With the big earners finally out of the door, Wolves should have the money to ramp up their transfer power.
However, some of that money may have been used effectively elsewhere already. Tying down Dicko and Price to new deals and hopefully, Kevin MacDonald in the weeks to come.
Have a little patience
Is our squad stronger than it was last season? No. Do Wolves need quality recruitment’s? Yes.
I doubt that Wolves are being lazy and that the signings will come. It would be a huge concern if Kenny and company felt that the squad was good enough to compete for the next 12 months.
If little materialises for the second summer in a row, someone at Wolves will need have some explaining to do. Whether this is Kenny, Jez or Kevin Thelwell.
My view is that Wolves will now only bring in quality players who can make an instant impact on the first team squad. Otherwise, you’ll start to see more academy graduates stepping into the place of the departures.
Sometimes we just need a little patience. As Jim Morrison said to Wayne Campbell throughout ‘Wayne’s World 2’ – “If you book them, they will come”.
What do you think of Wolves transfer activity so far this summer? Share your thoughts on this page and join in the debate.