I am intrigued by our transfer business so far this summer.
We’ve signed two seemingly very different centre backs in Miranda (a ball player) and Ryan Bennett (a no-nonsense pro).
Hopefully they complement each other and add just the right amount of guile and steel to the spine of team this year.
Our other two centre backs, Batth and Hause, are very much in the Bennett mould, so I get the feeling Nuno Espirito Santo is looking for one of those three to rotate around Miranda as a key figure. I’m guessing Ebanks-Landell will be shown the exit door.
Our third signing, Phil Ofosu-Ayeh, is also interesting. Kudos to those of you who had predicted this signing for a couple of weeks now, but it is still surprising – not only because it is quite unusual for Wolves to raid the German second tier, but also because of the questions it inevitably poses:
1. Who is he?
To answer this, and get some idea of what he would bring to Wolves, I took to the fans’ forum of his former club, Eintracht Braunschweig (eintrachtbraunschweig-fanforum.de). Some seemed indifferent to his departure:
“I was never actually convinced by him. He was very quick but never quite played the right final ball.”
“I think he found his level in the second tier.”
But this is countered by others:
“A good player on the way up.”
“A very committed player with the right attitude. A real shame [that he has left Braunschweig].”
The general consensus (from a 28-page thread) is that he was an extremely quick player who a few Eintracht fans would have liked to have seen more of. His time at the club was marred by injury – he only made 20 appearances in 2 seasons.
Pace is certainly an attribute you cannot have too much of in the Championship. Let’s hope his injury woes are behind him, because if so, we may have just acquired some much-needed athleticism at right back. At times last year our defence felt one-sided as only Doherty was comfortable getting forward.
2. What does this mean for Dominic Iorfa?
A bit-part player from last season seems to have been pushed further down the pecking order. Part of me can’t help but feel a little sad, given that it isn’t often that we have an England U21 international in our squad.
I also hope the new centre-back signings don’t curtail Kortney Hause’s chances, either. Both still have a lot of potential and it is very easy to forget how young they still are.
3. Is the defence now suitably reinforced?
I’m surprised we’ve already signed 3 new defenders. With Silvio potentially still to renew his deal, we could have a very different looking back four come the first day of the new season. In fact, we actually have two complete back fours in our squad currently.
4. Should we now focus on other areas?
A proven striker is a must, surely. And a real ball-playing central midfielder to supply the bullets, as we can’t rely on our wingers all the time.
Miranda and Ofosu-Ayeh are pretty much unknown until we’ve seen them ourselves. However, I do think a mixture of gritty Championship know-how and the surprise element of new players could be a potent mixture. For me, our defence seems to have that now.
One word of caution – I read that Miranda may be made captain. Roger Johnson was the last centre back we signed and immediately gave the armband to, and look how that turned out…
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