A cursory glance at Joao Moutinho’s CV reveals Wolves are on the cusp of signing a player of significant pedigree.
The 31 year old (who turns 32 shortly after the start of the season) has won trophies at every club he’s ever played at including league titles with both Porto and Monaco.
He’s amassed 71 appearances in the Champions League, including a semi-final against Juventus as recently as last year.
On the international front only Luis Figo and Cristiano Ronaldo have accrued more than his 113 caps in a senior Portugal career stretching well into it’s second decade.
He was part of the 2016 European Championship winning side, often coming off the bench to help his side through difficult moments, including the last hour of the final itself in Paris.
In the World Cup this summer he started the 3-3 draw with Spain and the victory over Morocco before coming off the bench against Iran making it clear he’s still considered a vital cog in the machine.
Regarded as a versatile technician who can operate in a number of positions across the midfield, he’s inevitably shifted into a more withdrawn role in his twilight years, which makes him a perfect fit for Nuno’s preferred 343 system.
As the above video shows, he’s adept at taking the ball in deep positions and finding those diagonal passes forward that strikers and wide players love to chase.
If Alfred N’Diaye’s raw power was considered an alternative option to the finesse of Ruben Neves and Romain Saiss, Mountinho is very much ‘more of the same’ underlining Nuno’s unrelenting desire to maintain a specific way of playing.
Despite his age and suspected financial incentives for making the move, it’s difficult to imagine a player of Moutinho’s stature would come if he didn’t have the genuine desire to take on the challenge. That makes him a particularly exciting addition.
His experience, already valued so highly by his national side who continue to start or introduce him at their greatest hours of need, will be pivotal as Wolves look to establish themselves in the world’s most competitive footballing environment.
He would also represent the most high profile signing of the Fosun era to date, elevating the club’s future pulling power in the transfer market.
Don’t be surprised if Moutinho’s decision to join the Portuguese revolution opens the door for others to follow suit – both in this transfer window and others to come.