Who will be the ins and outs at Molineux this January?

Wolverhampton Wanderers vs. Watford” (CC BY 2.0) by geetarchurchy

With less than two weeks until Christmas, Wolves fans have every reason to be cheerful this festive season. The West Midlands club sits at the top of the Championship, four points clear of second place and eight points from third.

Head coach Nuno Espírito Santo has performed impressively, leading Wolves to the Championship summit. If they keep up their fine form, a Premier League place next season looks likely. The Wanderers are currently on a seven-game unbeaten run as they head into the festive period.

After Christmas, the January transfer window opens. It is an opportunity for Wolves to freshen things up. The last five months of the season can be gruelling, and even though eight points over third place is a healthy lead, there are no guarantees.

Here is a look at who could come and at Molineux during the next transfer window.

In: Benik Afobe

The Bournemouth man originally signed for the Cherries from Wolves in 2016. Things haven’t gone to plan for the 24-year-old striker, however. With Jermaine Defoe, Callum Wilson and Josh King all above Afobe in the pecking order, a return to Molineux could be on the cards. Afobe’s first run with Wolves saw him score 22 goals in 46 appearances.

Out: Ben Marshall

One player who could be on his way out of Molineux is Ben Marshall. The 26-year-old has found playing time hard to come by this season and has started just two games. Cardiff and Sheffield Wednesday are rumoured to do battle for the winger’s signature.

In: Lewis Grabban

Currently on loan at Sunderland, Lewis Grabban could find himself playing for Wolves in January after his parent club Bournemouth invoked a recall clause in his contract. With many liking the look of the move, those into online betting might be tempted to have a punt on Grabban ending up in the West Midlands next month.

Out: Michal Zyro

After making his comeback from a 15-month injury layoff, Zyro has struggled for game time at Wolves. He could leave on a permanent transfer, although a loan looks more likely. The 25-year old winger has attracted interest from clubs such as Sunderland and Hull.

In: Dwight Gayle

Wolves are in the market for a new striker to ease the burden on Léo Bonatini. While Afobe and Grabban are more realistic targets, Dwight Gayle could be an outside bet. The Newcastle striker was prolific during his time in the Championship but hasn’t been able to convert that form to the Premier League. He would cost upwards of £15m, but Gayle might be the tonic Wolves need to secure promotion.

Out: Prince Oniangue

Signed in the summer of 2016, Oniangue has struggled to convince Nuno that he is worthy of a first-team spot. Like Zyro, a permanent move has been mooted, but a loan looks more likely for the 29-year-old midfielder.

Moving on up

No matter what Wolves do in the January transfer market, their rise under Nuno has been exceptional. With one or two additions to back up an already talented squad, they could end up securing promotion with relative ease.  

Even if they don’t add any faces to the mix, it’s hard to argue against Wolves returning to the Premier League for the first time since 2011.