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Wolverhampton Wanderers

World Cup shackling shows where Leander Dendoncker should play for Wolves

The Belgian put in a brilliant performance at the World Cup and is now at Wolves.

Mathew Nash

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Wolves continued their impressive pre-season transfer business on deadline day, adding Belgian international Leander Dendoncker to the fold.

The 23-year-old arrives on a season-long loan move, which could become permanent next summer. The fee involved is reportedly in the £12 million region.

It looks an excellent deal, with the former Anderlecht player hotly tipped for success over the past few seasons.

He has played the majority of his games for Anderlecht at holding midfield. However, could he be set for a different role at Wolves?

(Photo by Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/Getty Images)

Dendoncker is extremely versatile and has also played at centre-back in the past. Indeed, that is where he played for Belgium against England at the World Cup.

He played in the final group game between the two sides, as Belgium picked up a 1-0 win. Dendoncker played on the right of a back three and put in a fantastic performance.

He had Marcus Rashford shackled for most of the game and his composure on the ball was a major asset for the Red Devils.

Wolves look likely to line up with a back-three again this season and Dendoncker could slot in perfectly in the same position at Molineux.

Sports journalist based in Bristol. Previously spent five years writing for HITC Sport. Everton fan for my sins.

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Wolverhampton Wanderers

Wolves outcast Joe Mason must find a new team before the end of the month

The Wolves striker is back at the club after having a loan deal in the USA cancelled.

Mathew Nash

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Wolverhampton Wanderers were always going to have to leave some players behind after promotion to the Premier League. Some came as a surprise, such as star left-back Barry Douglas. Others, less so. In that latter category is where Joe Mason lands.

Wolves signed Mason from Cardiff City in January 2016. He had an immediate impact at Molineux. The Irishman scored against former loan club Bolton Wanderers three minutes into his debut appearance.

But the goals soon dried up.

With Wolves signing a plethora of attacking talent Mason soon found himself out of favour at Molineux.

(Photo by Timothy Nwachukwu/Getty Images)

Last season, he had a spell on loan at Burton Albion before agreeing a move to MLS side Colorado Rapids. That deal was cut short in July, despite Mason still having several months left on the deal, after he managed just three goals in 14 games.

His chances at Wolves have hardly got any better over the summer. The permanent signature of Leo Bonatini and Raul Jimenez’s arrival mean Mason has hardly any chance of breaking into the Wolves first-team in the Premier League.

However, the player must try and force a move. Teams in the Championship or even League One would be very pleased to have a player of Mason’s quality at their service.

Mason must ensure he makes his way out of Wolves this month, or spend a season on the sidelines watching on.

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Wolverhampton Wanderers

Wolves right to reject £17.9m Stefano Sturaro deal

The newly-promoted side decided they did not want to sign the Italian this summer.

Mathew Nash

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Wolverhampton Wanderers have done some exceptional transfer business this summer. The arrival of players such as Adama Traore, Raul Jimenez and Joao Moutinho can only be applauded.  

It also seems that Wolves could have signed an Italian international this summer. Stefano Sturaro was linked with a host of moves this summer, including to the Premier League. Sick of warming the bench at Juventus, he could have been a Wolves player.

According to Record, he was offered to Wolves in a €20 million (£17.9 million) deal this summer. Wolves, however, decided they did not want to spend that much on the 25-year-old and decided not to pursue a deal.

(Photo by Daniele Badolato – Juventus FC/Juventus FC via Getty Images)

Sturaro is now on his way to Sporting Lisbon on loan and Wolves fans should not be overly disappointed.

Because, whilst Sturaro is a good player, Wolves do not need him in the heart of their midfield. Wolves’ transfer business this summer has seen them snap up Moutinho and Leander Dendoncker. The overall fee for the pair of the players comes in at less than it would have cost to sign Sturaro, with Moutinho costing £5 million and Dendoncker £12 million if his loan is a success.

Sturaro has less experience than both players, despite the Belgian being two years younger, and would have been a costly extravagance Wolves simply do not need.

With Financial Fair Play rules always ready to pinch an ambitious spending club these days, leaving Sturaro behind was the wise move from the newly promoted side.

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One to Watch

One to watch: Ruben Neves dominates for Wolves in draw vs Everton

The Portugal star was a stand-out performer at the Molineux.

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Neves
Photo: Getty Images

Premier League teams are soon going to learn that you simply cannot allow Ruben Neves to raise his eyes after he played a key role in helping Wolves to a come-from-behind 2-2 draw with Everton.

Yesterday, Everton did not have the luxury of being able to close the Portuguese midfielder down after Phil Jagielka was sent off in the first-half.

From that moment forward, Neves used his ridiculous ability to pick out glorious passes in a varied manner.

Whether it be the sweeping cross-field ball to spread the play, recycling possession in defence or splitting the lines through midfield – the 21-year-old did it.

He completed 78 of his 93 passes in the end, also completing a fabulous 10 of his 15 long ball attempts.

Neves’ role was instrumental in calming down a Wolves team reeling after Richarlison twice put Everton ahead – and this showed in the statistics, given he had more touches of the ball than any other players on the pitch (111).

(Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

Not only that, he was directly involved in both the goals that dragged Wolves to an eventual 2-2 draw.

He scored the first, showing once again how dangerous he is from direct free-kicks.

This one, 20 yards from goal, suited the right-footed Neves as he curled the ball out of Jordan Pickford’s reach into the top corner.

It was his seventh goal for Wolves, all seven of which have come from outside the penalty box.

The Portuguese international then set-up the second.

In this instance, Everton allowed him far too much space near the corner of the penalty area, giving Neves time to pick out a smart back-post run from Raúl Jiménez.

The perfectly weighted cross reached Jiménez in stride, allowing him to use the pace of the ball to head home.

While Wolves would have hoped for all three points after playing for most of the game with a man advantage, Neves could not have started the season any more brightly.

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