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Wolverhampton Wanderers

Top five Championship signings of the season

Ruari Macneil

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With the season drawing to a close, we are taking the opportunity to look back and reflect on the top signings of the season in the Championship. Wolverhampton Wanderers took the league by storm to be crowned champions and claim automatic promotion, with a number of summer signings sparking their tremendous season.

The following five players are those who we believe to be the best signings of 2017/2018…

Ruben Neves

Ruben Neves joined Wolves last summer for a club and league record fee. The Portuguese ace has embodied his side’s rise to dominance and, at 21, will be relishing the chance of kick-starting his Premier League career, having achieved promotion in his first campaign in English football.

The former Porto star has played 38 times for Wolves this season, scoring six goals along the way, and was nominated for both the player of the season and young player of the season in the Championship. His quality cannot be understated and you could argue that he has been the signing of the season for any professional club in the country.

John Ruddy

Another Wolves star, John Ruddy signed for the Midlands club as a free agent after being released by Norwich City following the end of his contract. The English goalie has been solid between the sticks for Wolves and will be delighted at the prospect of a return to the Premier League next season, having been relegated with Norwich in 2016.

Capped once by England, Ruddy was named in both the Football League Championship team of the season and the PFA Championship team of the season for 2017/2018. Not bad at all for a free signing.

Robert Snodgrass

Scotland international Robert Snodgrass was deemed surplus to requirements at West Ham United last summer after failing to meet the demands expected of him during the 2016/2017 campaign. Whisked away on loan to Aston Villa at the beginning of the season, Snodgrass has found his place in a new claret and blue team, growing to be one of the club’s standout performers.

Villa are still in the hunt for promotion in the play-off positions, and their rise has been significantly aided by the form of their loaned Scotsman. The winger has not only scored seven goals, but has contributed an astounding 14 assists for the Villans, in his 37 appearances so far for the club.

Steve Bruce will be desperate to hold on to Snodgrass for next season, however, his stunning form will have probably fired himself into David Moyes’ plans for West Ham.

Aleksandar Mitrovic

Another loaned out Premier League star, Aleksandar Mitrovic joined Fulham from Newcastle United in January, after suffering from a lack of playing time under Rafa Benitez. The 23-year-old has netted an impressive 11 goals in 15 Championship appearances for the London club, which is nearly the same number of league goals he has scored for Newcastle in his two and a half seasons at St James’s Park.

Like Snodgrass, the Serbian’s form may have reignited the chance of a career with his parent club, however, the Magpies will have a big task on their hand warding off interest from Fulham, who will no doubt be hoping to retain his services, especially if they gain promotion.

Callum Paterson

When Callum Paterson joined Cardiff City last summer, the club knew they were signing a versatile player. Having played mainly as a right-back for the Edinburgh club, Paterson was also occasionally deployed as a striker for Hearts, which is testament to his versatility, but nobody would have predicted that he was set to become a goal-scoring central midfielder for Cardiff.

The Scotland international has netted an impressive 10 goals from midfield for the promotion hopefuls and is one of the most valued members of Neil Warnock’s squad. His development this season has been tremendous and Cardiff will be pleased to have such a promising young talent on their books.

 

Life long lover of sport in general with a soft spot for football. A consistent defender of Scottish football as a spectacle. Desperately waiting to see my country qualify for a major tournament.

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Wolverhampton Wanderers

Giorgian de Arrascaeta signing would represent transfer of intent from Wolves

Josh Kerr

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Photo: getty Images

According to Fox Sports Brazil, Wolverhampton Wanderers are weighing up a bid for World Cup bound-midfielder Giorgian de Arrascaeta.

The Uruguay international, an attacking midfielder with 13 caps for his national side, is attracting the attention of many European sides who are hoping to lure him away from the Brazilian league ahead of the summer World Cup.

Wolves fans will be delighted to see themselves linked with another established name in world football and will look to the success of star man Ruben Neves as inspiration for the move.

The former Porto star was a revelation at Wolves this season, scoring six goals along the way, and was nominated for both the Player of the Year and Young Player of the Season in the Championship. Neves’s success will give fans every bit of hope that De Arrascaeta would have a similar fate should he sign for the high-achieving club.

The current Cruzeiro player has spent the last three seasons playing in Brazil’s top flight, making 73 appearances and scoring 16 goals, after making the move from Defensor Sporting in Uruguay.

(Photo by Adam Nurkiewicz/Getty Images)

The midfielder’s attacking flair could match that of Diego Jota, whose permanent deal from at Molineux, from Atletico Madrid, hasn’t yet been confirmed.

He would be the perfect addition for the Midlands outfit as they look to restablish themselves in England’s top-flight and ensure their continued Premier League status.

It is important that the deal gets done quickly as De Arrascaeta will soon be turning his attention to the World Cup and interest in his services is only likely to increase.

He signed a contract extension in February which runs until 2021, but the luxury of the Premier League may be enough to tempt the young Uruguayan to the Championship winners this summer.

If he signs, he would prove another useful attacking option, especially if Jota remains at the club.

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Championship

Arrival of Victor Lindelof would be the final nail in coffin for Roderick Miranda’s Wolves career

The Swedish international has been heavily linked with a move to Wolves.

Mathew Coull

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This week it has been reported that Wolverhampton Wanderers are beginning their preparations for next season, by making a move for Manchester United centre-back Victor Lindelof. The Mirror report that the £31 million Sweden international is the target of a loan switch from the newly promoted Midlands club.

It would be a fine move from Wolves as Lindelof has proven he is a highly talented defender this season, even if occasionally error-prone.

However, if he was to arrive, what would it mean for some of Wolves’ current centre-back options, namely, Roderick Miranda.

(Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)

Signed last summer from Rio Ave the Jorge Mendes client went straight into the starting XI at Wolves. He cost the club a fee reported to be in the region of £2.5 million by The Sun and looked a solid signing for the upcoming campaign. However, after a 2-1 loss to QPR in October the 27-year-old suddenly found himself out of favour.

Miranda played just three more Championship games for the club, including the recent 3-0 loss to Sunderland.

The defender was simply outplayed by his competition at the club and, in January, he was even linked with a move back to his homeland. Portuguese paper Record reported that Braga were keen on the player and he could be open to a return home.

If Lindelof was to arrive than surely the nail is in the coffin for Miranda’s career at Wolves.

(Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)

Simply put, he has not looked up to the standard necessary to play Championship football let alone in the Premier League.

Not many Wolves fans will be disappointed if he is moved on in the summer, especially with the likes of Lindelof reportedly in the club’s crosshairs. If the Manchester United man arrives, it is surely the end for Miranda at Molineux.

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Championship

Renato Sanches must heed Carlos Carvalhal advice and ignore Wolves interest

The Portugal talent has been linked with a move to newly-promoted Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Mathew Coull

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When Swansea City managed to convince Renato Sanches to head to the Liberty Stadium in the summer it looked like one of the coups of the transfer window. The Portuguese prospect had shone at the European Championships in 2016, being named the best young player in the competition. Such form had earned him a move to Bayern Munich. There, things had stalled for the young talent, but he was still an eye-catching recruit for the Swans.

However, he struggled to find his best form in South Wales. He ended up out of the team more than he was in it, playing just 704 minutes of Premier League football as Swansea were relegated to the Championship. The ‘highlight’ of his time at the club, arguably his mislayed pass toward an advertising hoarding he mistook for a team-mate v Chelsea in November.

(Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images)

But it seems the Bayern youngster may get a Premier League reprieve. Championship winners Wolverhampton Wanderers are said to be interested in adding the talented midfielder to their Portuguese ranks.

Diario de Noticias have reported that Wolves are keen to bring Sanches to Molineux this summer ahead of a Premier League campaign.

But despite the interest from Wolves, surely a return to Benfica is in the best interests of the young player. That is indeed the thought of outgoing Swansea boss Carlos Carvalhal, who was quoted by The Telegraph as stating:

“Renato knows he has had a very bad season. He is not at the level he was and when he had the injury in January, it finished him. He would agree this has been a really bad season for him. Someone told me he could go back to Benfica and if he can, it is the best step for him…

“I think by going back to Benfica and having his friends and mother and father around him – and a good club to support him – he can achieve the best level. He needs to go back to Portugal because he is a boy and he is not ready for Premier League level.”

Whilst a move to Wolves could be beneficial, considering the amount of his countryman at the club, Carvalhal’s point is valid.

The 20-year-old appears to have gone backward since his move to Bayern and the Premier League looked to be a step too far for him last season.

(Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

Playing week-in week-out at this intensity was clearly not something Sanches is yet ready to achieve, doing so with Wolves will surely not be any different.

Wolves can be forgiven for their interest in the player. His performances at Euro 2016 were such that his poor form since is often forgotten.

But the best move for the player would be to head home and finish his development. One day, he will surely become the star it seemed he would. But right now, a move to Wolves could just set him back even further.

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