Wolves transfer news: January decision pays off as Vinagre update emerges

Ruben Vinagre in action against Spurs

Football Insider claims Benfica are interested in signing Wolves loanee Ruben Vinagre at the end of the season.

What is the latest transfer news involving Vinagre?

Vinagre has spent this season on loan at two different clubs. He featured for Olympiacos in the first half of the campaign, and is now playing his football at Famalicao in Portugal.

He is due to return to Molineux in the summer, but it now seems that Benfica want to keep him in Portugal, and could make their move for the full-back in the off-season.

How did he fare at Wolves?

The left wing-back spent three seasons at Wolves, making 70 appearances for the club. However, he struggled to establish himself as a regular starter throughout his time in the Midlands.

In his two full seasons in the Premier League, he featured in 33 matches for Wolves, but was largely used as a back-up option off the bench. 

Despite a long-term injury to Jonny, he was still allowed to leave Molineux on loan last summer, which is indicative of how indifferently he's viewed by the coaching staff.

What has 2020/21 been like for Vinagre?

His time at Olympiacos was disappointing. During his three-month stay at the club, he battled with fitness issues and played in just two matches. His loan deal was terminated at the end of 2020, but less than a week later, Wolves found him a new team. 

Vinagre returned to his homeland to play for Famalicao, and he appears to have hit his stride since the turn of the year.

The 22-year-old has been an ever-present in the side, and been one of the club's best performers. As per WhoScored, he is the club's fourth-highest rated player this term, earning an average match rating of 6.84.

He has made 1.1 key passes per game - no other Famalicao player has managed more - and has completed 2.3 successful dribbles per match. Gil Dias (2.5) is the only Famalicao squad member to better this number.

What is his current market valuation?

According to Transfermarkt, Vinagre is currently worth £4.5m.

However, given his form in 2021, and the fact that his Wolves contract runs until 2024, it seems that the Premier League club are in a strong position to ask for a significantly higher fee for Vinagre this summer.

Would this be a smart transfer for Wolves?

Wolves pulled off a masterstroke in January when they loaned Vinagre out to Famalicao. They could have allowed Vinagre to stay in England after his underwhelming spell at Olympiacos. 

Instead, they swiftly loaned Vinagre out again, and he is now playing regular first-team football. Thanks to this, it is likely that his valuation will have increased during this period, and we can only assume his decent form for Famalicao has prompted Benfica's interest. 

Wolves must now make the most of this and cash in on the youngster this summer. Despite his upturn in form over in Portugal, Vinagre has been unable to make his mark in the Premier League, so it seems best to move him on in the coming months.

Wolves ought to be able to get a suitable fee, and can then reinvest in the squad which has looked thin at times this year.

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What do Wolves need in the summer transfer window?

Nuno Espirito Santo's side have been underwhelming in 2020/21, and need to freshen things up ahead of their next top-flight campaign.

With the money from selling Vinagre, they could attempt to identify a striker who can help share the load with Raul Jimenez next year, whilst also hoping to find cover for Pedro Neto, who is set for an extended spell on the sidelines after suffering a serious knee injury.

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