Wolves eye swoop for colossal midfielder

Nuno Santo and Romain Saiss

Wolves had an ideal start to the season on Monday evening as they cast aside Sheffield United in dominant fashion.

Based on last season, this could have been a tricky fixture for Nuno Santo's men, but they made it look easy in a routine win.

Raul Jimenez put Wolves a goal to the good and then Romain Saiss found the back of the net all inside six minutes.

It was a lightning-quick start from the Midlands side who will be keen to rise even further up the table this season.

They may have missed out on European football for the 2020/21 campaign but that should serve them well in their quest to re-enter. 

Boasted by a larger squad too, Nuno will have some fresh faces to help with the fatigue that sometimes encases the club.

For instance, the record arrival of Fabio Silva should mean that Jimenez doesn't have to play all the time this term. 

Raul Jimenez

Wolves are also looking for fresh faces in the middle of the park after strengthening their attack and defence. 

Yet again, the club are targeting a Portuguese player. It's become a common theme of Jeff Shi and Nuno's reign and this time, it's for a player at Sporting Lisbon.

According to A Bola (via Sport Witness), Wolves are continuing to keep an eye on aggressive midfielder Joao Palhinha.

However, they may have their work cut out because he is currently locked in negotiations with Sporting to sign a new deal until 2024. 

At present, Palhinha's contract in Lisbon runs out in 2021 and consequently, has an asking price of €15m (£13.7m) but that's now set to go up. 

Leeds have also been interested in the 25-year-old this summer.

Palhinha

GIVEMESPORT'S Matt Dawson says...

This would be a move that really strengthens this Wolves side.

Leander Dendoncker and Romain Saiss have previously been used as the holding players alongside Ruben Neves in the squad but in recent times, have featured in the back three for Nuno.

Thus, they could probably do with another ball-winning player in the middle of the park. Fortunately, Palhinha epitomises this. 

Portuguese football expert Jose Miguel Saraiva wrote: "He uses, in a rather intelligent way, his enormous physical power to retrieve the ball without faulty actions and instead of leading the way in his team’s strategy, he prefers to leave the construction of the back-to-forth transitions to his midfield colleagues."

Palhinha vs Rangers

The Portuguese is a colossal figure in midfield and uses his 6 foot 3 frame to win 3.7 aerial duels a match. On top of that, Palhinha wins 2.1 tackles per game.

If you compare that to those at Wolves already, no player won more tackles last season in the Premier League. No player won more aerial duels either.

It's clear, therefore, that Palhinha would add a significant amount if they sign him. 

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