Since gaining promotion in 2018, Wolverhampton Wanderers have taken the Premier League by storm. Back-to-back seventh-place finishes have threatened to break up the idea of the ‘Big Six’, with Wolves finishing above Arsenal last season.
This season, however, has been very different for Nuno Espirito Santo’s side, as they currently sit in 14th, winning just once in their last 10 league games. With the talent that their squad possesses, the standards they have set themselves, this is far from the Wolves that we have become to know and their top talent may seek to leave the Midlands club if their form doesn’t turn around soon. The main issue for Wolves this season has been their inability to cope without their star striker, Raul Jimenez, and it has been a problem that has spread onto everybody else in the team.
The Mexican suffered a horrific fractured skull against Arsenal in November and Wolves have seen their form nosedive since. Fabio Silva had been signed from Porto for £35m as a replacement for Liverpool-bound Diogo Jota, but the 18-year-old would not have expected to be called upon so frequently by this stage of his Premier League career. The plan would have been for Silva to be slowly integrated into the side, with Jimenez approaching his 30th birthday. Since his injury, Wolves have managed just nine out of a possible 42 points – far below the high standards that they have set for themselves.
They have addressed their striking issue in January, with Willian Jose arriving on loan from Real Sociedad, but the 29-year-old has barely looked a threat in his four Premier League appearances so far, and it is clear right now he does not have the capabilities to match what Jimenez was doing.