Every Wolves Player Who Made An Appearance in 2017/18 Ranked By Contribution On The Pitch

Actually, to clarify the point, ranked by my personal opinion about their contribution on the pitch. I’ve tried to mesh that together with appearance stats and some other info to give it more credibility.

#33 Harry Burgoyne – Handed a solitary token appearance at Sunderland after the game was already lost.

#32 Michal Zyro – One start in the League Cup and that was that for the big Polish striker. Got a few goals for Charlton.

#31 Sylvain Deslandes  1 sub appearance in the league and 2 starts in the League Cup before leaving for Pompey on loan.

#30 Jordan Graham – Same appearance stats as Deslandes and couldn’t get a game at Fulham or on his return to the club in January.

#29 Dave Edwards – Another with 1 sub appearance in the league and 2 starts in the League Cup before ending his near decade-long association with the club.

#28 Rafa Mir – Just 1 start in the FA Cup and 3 sub appearances for the striker since arriving in January. No goals and no real chance to make an impact after the arrival of Afobe.

#27 Donovan Wilson – Came off the bench at Southampton in the cup and scored his first goal for the club. A memorable moment in a morale boosting win early doors.

#26 Oskar Buur – Played for 20 minutes in the league and netted a crucial equaliser against Hull. What was he even doing up there? More importantly, who cares? Also got a start in the League Cup.

#25 Connor Ronan – Got a look-in for a short time but once the squad was beefed out, struggled for minutes. Like a few others, impressed against Man City and left with De Bruyne’s shirt before heading to Portsmouth on loan.

#24 Kortney Hause – Not a single league start for Kortney and just 4 appearances in total, which must be a source of immense frustration. Somewhat surprised he was given a contract extension, but at 22 there’s still significant room for development.

#23 Jack Price – 5 appearances off the bench in the league and some game time in the League Cup. Played very well at The Etihad before bringing the curtain down on his Wolves career.

#22 Ben Marshall – Soon became obvious he was down the pecking order so no surprise he eventually left to get some games. Did manage one league start in his 5 appearances before impressing at Millwall.

#21 Nouha Dicko – Scored what proved to be the winning goal against Hull (ironically) so must rank higher than all the other also-rans. Also got one in the cup before being shipped out.

#20 Morgan Gibbs-White – Came into fashion after Christmas and was regularly involved. But only 1 league start and 3 in total from his 15 appearances. Still just 18 though and everyone at the club seems to think he’s going to the very top.

#19 Will Norris – Didn’t concede a goal in his League Cup campaign and was solid enough against Swansea in the FA Cup, but had a game to forget in his only league start at Sunderland.

#18 Ruben Vinagre – Had Douglas not been so effective, Vinagre would have made a lot more than the 13 appearances he mustered because whenever he did play, he looked motivated and capable. Scored a great goal at Burton.

#17 Bright Enobakhare – 26 appearances in total but just 2 goals and 1 assist for Bright. If he can beef up those numbers, he’ll be a Premier League player. You don’t make 26 appearances in a side this good if you’re not up to scratch.

#16 Roderick Miranda – Much like Danny Batth, looked pretty decent in the early games. I particularly liked his touch-tight, Italian-esque defending. Lost rhythm once Boly and Bennett became the preferred duo flanking Coady and looked vulnerable in subsequent cameos.

#15 Danny Batth – Started the season well enough, but once he lost his place to Bennett, he struggled on the rare occasions he was called upon. 21 appearances in total and an important headed equaliser against Bristol City for his only goal.

#14 Benik Afobe – Just 7 starts for Benik and a further 9 appearances from the bench. 6 goals was a decent return, but if I’m being hypercritical all his strikes came in games I felt we’d have won anyway.

#13 Alfred N’Diaye – Essential squad player. Only 17 starts but 20 more appearances from the bench. 3 goals and 2 assists. His physicality came in handy on several occasions.

#12 Helder Costa – 39 appearances in total but only 24 starts. Took him a long time to get up to speed. In fact it was only really down the home stretch he looked anything like the player we’ve come to know and love. 5 goals and 6 assists is still a decent contribution.

#11 Ryan Bennett – It didn’t look like he’d get a sniff at the start of the season, but ended up a key performer. 33 appearances in total and one special goal at Ashton Gate. That was his moment to savour, but overall he can feel very pleased with his efforts.

#10 Leo Bonatini – 47 appearances in total (31 starts) but it felt like he checked out at Christmas. Couldn’t muster a goal in 2018, but the 12 he registered early doors really helped get us up and running. 5 assists too for the Brazilian.

#9 John Ruddy – Would have been an ever-present in the league had Nuno not rested him on the final day. Won the Golden Glove for most shut-outs in the division but that owes as much to the defence in front of him. Made some big saves, most notably at Cardiff, but also let in a few soft goals and occasionally juggled crosses. Solid rather than spectacular.

#8 Romain Saiss – Major unsung hero. Immediately struck up a good understanding with Neves and connected the dots between defence and attack. 44 appearances in total and 4 important goals.

#7 Willy Boly – The centre-half of my dreams. Missed 10 games with injury and that’s the only reason he isn’t higher up the list. 3 goals and 2 assists to go with countless blocks, interceptions and carefree jaunts downfield.

#6 Ivan Cavaleiro – Rarely grabbed the headlines, but one of the big heroes of the campaign. 32 starts and 46 appearances in total. 9 goals and 12 assists.

#5 Matt Doherty

Only missed one league game all season and that was after getting sent off at Middlesbroguh. 47 appearances in total, 4 goals and 4 assists. A high ranking for sheer consistency. Not as explosive going forward as some previous seasons, but then again, he didn’t need to be.

#4 Barry Douglas

39 starts and 42 appearances in total. 5 goals scored and 14 assists. Yes, 14 assists. Nobody in the entire league managed more. Effective from open play but spectacular from dead ball situations.

#3 Diogo Jota

Quickly identified as the league’s most dangerous attacker and subsequently targeted for heavy treatment. 43 starts and 46 appearances in total is an incredible achievement. He was brought in to score and create and with 18 goals and 5 assists it was definitely mission accomplished.

#2 Conor Coady

Can count himself unfortunate not to be sitting at the top of the pile. 48 appearances in all competitions and barely a single mistake all season. A revelation. Factor in his character, his leadership and all those diagonal cross field passes and you’ve got one hell of a season. Made playing three at the back possible, which was essential to Nuno’s ‘idea’.

#1 Ruben Neves

42 appearances, 6 screamers and the best passer of a football we’ve ever had – certainly in my lifetime. Mick McCarthy was flabagasted Wolves spent £15 million on a ‘holding midfielder’ back in August. I suspect even he’s got on board by now. I wanted to give the number 1 slot to Coady, I really did, but I can probably count on one hand the number of seasons where we’ve actually had a midfield and this guy is like nothing I’ve ever seen.

Disagree with my list? I’ll paste the names into a comment below if anyone fancies having a crack themselves.


  1. Thomas says:

    The list:

    Harry Burgoyne
    Michal Zyro
    Sylvain Deslandes
    Jordan Graham
    Dave Edwards
    Rafa Mir
    Donovan Wilson
    Oskar Buur
    Connor Ronan
    Kortney Hause
    Jack Price
    Ben Marshall
    Nouha Dicko
    Morgan Gibbs
    Will Norris
    Ruben Vinagre
    Bright Enobakhare
    Roderick Miranda
    Danny Batth
    Benik Afobe
    Alfred N’Diaye
    Leo Bonatini
    Helder Costa
    Ryan Bennett
    John Ruddy
    Romain Saiss
    Willy Boly
    Ivan Cavaleiro
    Matt Doherty
    Barry Douglas
    Diogo Jota
    Conor Coady
    Ruben Neves


  2. basherbaz says:

    Harry Burgoyne – would be higher imo.
    Connor Ronan – ditto.
    Morgan Gibbs – slightly higher.
    Roderick Miranda – lower.
    Ryan Bennett – higher.
    John Ruddy – lower.
    Willy Boly – would be in post’n 4.

    When do you think some of the loans will be turned into permanent ?. Saw rare interview with Big Wily and he said he wants to stay but down to the Wolves – Please sign him up.


  3. mike says:

    Ryan Bennett higher. When he played alongside Boly and Coady, the back three looked virtually impenetrable


  4. AshramWolf says:

    A very good read Thomas, from one who only got to see the side on tv this season. Seems fair enough from what I have seen too. Thanks to you Ben and all the blog regulars for an essential weekly read from someone who’s generally hsppy just to read it.


  5. Interesting read Thomas. I don’t disagree wildly with any of your positions, but special credit must go to Coads and the Doc. The old guard must have really feared for their places as the Nuno revolution began and high quality players were bought in. But of them all, these two really stepped up to the plate and starred in a stellar team. Well done to them and I sincerely hope they can once more step up as Premier League quality is added to the squad.


  6. thedoog says:

    A ot of your players have left or imminent
    Only the top 13 secure and maybe a couple of others
    We must progress


  7. Steve showcase says:

    3 Boly
    5 costa
    8 Doherty

    Rest we can flog..how on earth can DB be at 15?
    If he had played all season we would of been below
    Half way.


  8. More transfer talk.


    “….Beijmo was close to a move to Wolverhampton Wanderers in the last window, and that coincided with the club appointing Gary Goodchild as their head scout in Scandinavia.

    However, at the time Wolves had other transfer priorities and subsequently they pulled out of the deal….”


  9. theDOOGooder (not thedoog) says:

    So difficult to choose.

    I’ve changed my mind twice even while I’ve been typing this.

    But I think I would definitely put Neves first with Coady very close behind.

    Then Big Willy, Cav, Jota, Doherty and Douglas equal next.

    After that, all the players that have featured in the first team more than ten times.

    Oh! Gawd! I don’t know!

    As far as the Afobe argument is concerned, we have first option to buy at £12m or whatever it is. How about forfeiting that option and then going in with an offer in competition with other teams. Is that allowed?

    I’m sure that Benik would choose Wolves and we might pick up a bargain.

    I think that Nuno has already improved him as a player, his hold up play and defensive work has improved 100%.

    And, you say Thomas that his goals have come against teams we should have beaten anyway.

    That may be true but the manner with which he despatched them was generally first class and would have been successful against any side in the division.

    Give him chances, and he will score from most of them.

    Only my opinion, of course.


  10. Wightwolf says:

    I’m sure we would all shift your top 10 around to suit our own opinions and I sincerely hope they are all wearing old gold in August. I personally would rate Big Willy much higher though, the unsung hero of the season for me. One thing I’m sure most of us would agree on is the back 3 of him Coady and Bennett were absolutely brilliant all season.


  11. Jackomac says:

    As we say, all about opinions. For me a major piece in the jigsaw this season has been Cav. I have no idea how you would pigeon-hole his position. Winger? Number Ten? Centre forward? False centre forward. Striker? I suppose the same goes for the rest of the forward line.

    But for me Costa and Jota look an important 20% more effective when he plays and goals look more likely. We missed him at the end of the season.


  12. Prawnie says:

    Coady Boly
    Douglas Doherty Bennett Cav Saiss
    N’Diaye Ruddy
    Bonatini Afobe

    The rest


  13. StuWolf says:

    Express & Star stealing our ideas.
    Same old, same old.


  14. Clive says:

    It seems the Portuguse national team manager has not watched any Wolves matches this past season.
    His 23 man World Cup squad contains no players from Wolverhampton Wanderers.
    I feel bad for Ruben and Diogo, such brilliant players deserve to be in Russia this summer.
    However, selfishly, I am pleased they won’t be, so no chance of injury or giving next season’s opponents a look at what is going to be dished out to them!


  15. The Newt says:

    Pretty fair assessment Thomas, I can’t really find much to disagree with on your list.

    Apart from the obvious stand-outs the two players who have impressed me this year are Cavaleiro and Saiss. Last year I was very down on these two guys as they seemed to be sleepwalking through the season but this year the improvement has been incredible under Nuno and proved me very wrong on both their attitude and ability.

    Only slight disappointment is the lack of playing time for the likes of Ronan (who I rate really highly), Gibbs-White and Hause. I hope our young cubs still have a part to play in the future.

    Looking at that list of 33 players not to mention others out on loan I guess there will be loads of departures, probably 15-20 either permanent or on loan to make way for new players. A very interesting summer of ins and outs ahead.


  16. Prawnie says:

    An oversight on my part Stroker. Should’ve been on line 4


  17. StuWolf says:

    For Witley and London Loyal, this treat awaits you next season boys.


  18. StuWolf says:

    Witley and London loyal.
    This is the treat that awaits you next season at the North Bank bar.


  19. Newark Wolves says:

    I hope you folks don’t mind me changing the subject but I just wanted to share something with you. I work in a school and one of our children has just been diagnosed with a very serious brain tumor. The child in question is a massive Forest fan, and to their credit the Forest manager and some players visited him yesterday. As many of you know I absolutely hate Forest but I had to do something to help. SO, today I have spent all day at work and in Newark town centre wearing a Forest shirt. The response has been amazing and some of the teachers have been reduced to tears as they know how hard it was for me to do that. I have raised hundreds of pounds for the little boy just by wearing a football shirt. I have read on here about the Wolves / West Brom hatred but sometimes you put football rivalry to one side for something like this. I have enclosed the article which has a link if any of you can spare a few quid and also the picture of me in a Forest shirt which will NEVER be repeated.


    • StuWolf says:

      Well done that man, the depths people will go to in an effort to help others les fortunate has always restored my faith in man. I have to say, it quite suits you.

      Just kidding, honest.

      I will sort out a donation for him.

      Your’e a good man.


    • Bedford Wolf (C H A M P I O N S !) says:

      There’s definitely a look of the Gary Birtles about you there Ian. 😉

      Good cause. Donation in hand.



    • theDOOGooder says:

      A very good cause and a very nice shirt. Did you buy it?

      In spite of my occasional rhetoric I can’t say that I really hate ANY football team, although I do get quite a lot of satisfaction in watching some of them fall flat on their faces.

      Me and the PMDG’er are certainly up for donating to the little lad. It shall be done.

      Life can be VERY unfair.



    Well I’m fuckin bored already. Mental health week and I think I am already suffering Wolves withdrawal symptoms. Best see the Doctor. Royal wedding avoidance day tomorrow being the sad old punk I am. I just want Villa twat Prince William to trip up and fall in to some dog shit or summat. That would be fuckin great. When does the new season start any way? Cor wait! FWAW.


  21. Bedford Wolf (C H A M P I O N S !) says:

    Slightly different take on the list;

    1. Neves
    2. Coady
    3. Boly
    4. Jota
    5. Doherty
    6. Douglas
    7. Costa
    8. Ruddy
    9. Saiss
    10. Cavaleiro
    11. Bennett
    12. Afobe
    13. Vinagre
    14. Hause
    15. N’Diaye
    16. Burgoyne

    Loan out
    17. Enobakhare
    18. Gibbs-White
    19. Norris
    20. Ronan
    21. Buur
    22. Mir
    23. Iorfa
    24. Nazon
    25. Wilson

    Get rid
    26. Batth
    27. Graham
    28. Bonatini
    29. Miranda
    30. Deslandes
    31. Mason
    32. Gladon
    33. Oniangue
    34. Ebanks-Landell
    35. Flatt

    Bring in – Starting XI
    Centre back
    Centre midfield – defensive

    Bring in – Squad
    Centre back
    Right wing back
    Central midfield- creative
    Left attacker



  22. Afobe won’t want to stay as a second choice with little game time. Or third choice, if I understand the post.
    Better choice to keep Bonatini and let him stay in Saudi Arabia for half the season to get his goal scoring touch back.
    Then he can come back and maybe challenge for a regular starting position.


  23. Here’s a question for everyone who went to the games.
    How good was Bonatini during the first half of the season? Was he good enough to play in the top half of the Premier League or was he just good because he was playing at a lower level?
    Was he better then than Afobe was at the end of the season?


    • Bedford Wolf (C H A M P I O N S !) says:

      Tim – I personally would say that despite the goals Bonatini never really looked the real deal even in the first half of the season. Scored a number of fortuitous goals but always seemed to lack pace or strength. I thought Afobe did much better myself and looked like a real striker – strong, quick, able to run in behind and scored some great goals. To me they are worlds apart.



    Congratulations to Coventry City on reaching the play off final league 2 . THE journey they have been on I the last few years reminds me of where we once were. Big club who have retained their support. Hope to see them turn the corner and begin the journey back.


    • Jackomac says:

      Last promotion Coventry achieved was 66/67 into the old first division as champions with some other West Midlands side going up as runners-up. They are the very definition of long suffering fans. Strange to reflect that under Jimmy Hill’s leadership they were regarded as one of the most far-sighted and innovative clubs in the country, yet in recent years they have made some of the worst strategic decisions of any club. I guess courage in decision making is admirable but the challenge is to base the decisions on wisdom. Hopefully we have at last found the right combination. Good luck to Coventry in the final


  25. Jackomac says:

    Sorry to see Jordan Allan released. He seemed quite a potential when we signed him having made his debut for Airdrie at 14 years old. All the early reports were that he was playing well at levels above his age group. But maybe the confidence of youth has balanced out in the maturity process. I see that he spent the last six months back at Airdre so maybe a bit of home sickness too. Good luck to him as he ‘re-builds his confidence, hopefully his name will crop up again for the right reasons in the future.


  26. StuWolf says:

    I’m shocked with quite a few of the guys being released from U23 squad.
    Another mass clearout, this time at the lower level.
    Bodes wellfor the future I suppose.


  27. Bedford Wolf (C H A M P I O N S !) says:

    Watching the FA Trophy final at Wembley. Bromley leading the game 1-0 with 10 seconds of five minutes of stoppage time remaining and the Bromley captain scored an own goal.

    The Bromley captain? Roger Johnson.

    Still a prize plonker!



  28. Bedford Wolf (C H A M P I O N S !) says:

    Crotone, managed by Walter Zenga, relegated from Italy’s Serie A.


  29. Man U seems to be having issues, even with their points total. Chelsea might go for a new coach/manager. Arsenal getting a new manager.
    Might just be an ideal time to join the league. We will be on equal footing with two or three of the top 6 teams as far as having to adjust to a new coach (we will have a lot of new players who will have to).
    I’m thinking Champions League 2019/2020!



    No one will relish Molineux next season. The Nuno revolution will fuckin kill them. Cor wait. Fuckin Wolves ay we. And adios to Sandwell. Pride of the midlands Fuck off.


  31. Clive says:

    I gorra say, I’m sick of you pussyfooting around the subject.
    Why dont you say what you really mean about the shit, instead of being polite?

    I’m wid ya all the way.
    Maybe they will do a Sunderland!


  32. Nippy Lobo says:

    Am I alone in thinking we might buy too many players? Why might that happen?
    1) We have to be very careful not to destroy the excellent team spirit and morale that Nuno has built. A theoretical question: if Wolves bought Anderson Talisca, who would we drop? Jota or Cavaleiro? And how would Talisca, Jota or Cavaleiro react if they rarely started? This kind of problem could occur anywhere in the team.
    2) Some of our young players may be at a higher level next season than they were this season. In particular, it’s possible that Oskar Buur and Reuben Vinaigre may be good enough to be back-ups next season. If Nuno thinks that, then he will not want to buy expensive back-ups.
    It’s interesting to speculate how well Nuno thinks we will do in 2018-19. If he expects we will avoid a relegation battle, will he risk starting a young player or two in the Premier League? Say, Morgan Gibbs-White or Kortney Hause? Or even Will Norris or Connor Ronan?
    With possible expensive signings as well, there are so many fascinating possibilities to think about this off-season!


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