After three stellar campaigns, this season has felt like anything but progress.
There’s a huge summer ahead, so it’s appropriate to cast an evaluative eye over the current squad and consider who is likely to feature next season and where improvements must be made.
Rui Patricio – Keep
Statistics suggest that this has been Patricio’s poorest campaign in a Wolves shirt, but that doesn’t tell the full story. The Portuguese stopper has regularly bailed out a defence that has been a shadow of its former self and remains a key player.
John Ruddy – Keep
Not quite the safe pair of hands he used to be if his mistakes against Stoke and Southampton are anything to go by. One of the Academy keepers will need to start challenging him soon.
Conor Coady – Keep
A season that started so well for our Scouse skipper has regressed quite dramatically. But there’s been a big improvement from February onwards, with Coady beginning to look a threat from set pieces. If we’re abandoning the back four experiment, he’s still a crucial player.
Willy Boly – Keep
Nowhere near his usual high standards. Wolves are much more solid with Boly in the side, but his influence hasn’t been as profound as last season. He’s also now 30, meaning we might need to start planning for life without him.
Romain Saiss – Keep
Not a bad campaign for the dependable Moroccan, who has remarkably picked up only one yellow card so far. He’s also been a big contributor at the other end of the pitch, sitting joint third in the goalscoring charts. That being said, finding an upgrade should be a priority in the summer.
Max Kilman – Move
Always dependable when called upon, and yet Kilman hasn’t managed to nail down a spot in the starting eleven. Bearing that in mind, you suspect he could be one that is moved on to raise funds.
Jonny Otto – Keep
Has shown everyone just how good he is since his return from injury. The Spaniard is a classy operator and it was great to see him sign a new long-term contract with the club.
Nelson Semedo – Keep
Despite looking a total car crash of a signing in his early outings, Semedo has grown in stature as the season has progressed and has some impressive stats under his belt. Will need to start contributing more in terms of goals and assists though if he’s to justify his hefty price tag.
Ki-Jana Hoever – Keep
Opportunities have seldom been forthcoming for the young Dutchman but, when he has played, he’s looked a decent prospect.
Rayan Ait-Nouri – Move
Despite enjoying a stellar debut against Palace, Ait-Nouri has done little to suggest he’s a better backup to Jonny than Vinagre was. With his buyout clause allegedly standing at a princely £20m, it’s hard to see his Molineux stay extending beyond this season.
Fernando Marcal – Keep
Almost impossible to assess due to his rotten luck with injuries. Marcal was a relatively low risk purchase at £2m but you still have to question the wisdom of signing a player who had made just 42 appearances in three years at Lyon.
Ruben Neves – Keep
A hit-and-miss season for Molineux’s resident maestro. With five goals to his name already, Neves could equal or better his best tally in old gold. But there have equally been plenty of games that have passed him by. Recruiting a midfield partner that gets the best out of him should be a priority.
Joao Moutinho – Keep
Undoubtedly one of the best players to ever don old gold, but sadly nowhere near as influential as he’s been in previous years. With just 12-months to go on his deal, you suspect that next season will be his swansong.
Leander Dendoncker – Keep
Three seasons into his Wolves career, Dendoncker remains something of an anomaly. Is he a nice-to-have handyman or a key player? Though you can never fault his application, he needs to do more to prove he’s the latter.
Morgan Gibbs-White – Loan
Fabled as the best player to come out of the Wolves Academy, Gibbs-White continues to flatter to deceive and is now firmly in make-or-break territory. Will hopefully get another opportunity to go out on loan and show people what he can do.
Vitinha – Move
His wonder strike against Chorley aside, it’s been a forgettable loan spell for Vitinha. Like Ait-Nouri, it’s difficult to imagine us stumping up the cash for a player that has featured so little.
Owen Otasowie – Loan
Already capped by his country, Otasowie certainly has the physical attributes to be a real star. But he’s been used sparingly and, like Gibbs-White, might be best served by a loan spell elsewhere.
Pedro Neto – Keep
In a class of his own this season and a shoo-in for the Player of the Season trophy, Neto is the undoubted jewel in our crown. You would hope that Fosun will allow Nuno to build the team around him next season, but there’s sure to be interest from bigger clubs.
Daniel Podence – Keep
Another that is difficult to evaluate. On top form, Podence is an outrageous talent. But, like most of his teammates, he’s struggled for consistency and fitness this term. Will need to address that if he’s going to nail down a spot in the eleven.
Adama Traore – Move?
Though the much-discussed zero goal contribution is something of a red herring, it’s hard to view Adama’s season as anything other than a massive disappointment. The Spanish speedster has all the attributes to be a world-beater but so often fails to produce. If we need to sell to buy, it’d be tempting to cash in if a suitable offer is forthcoming.
Fabio Silva – Keep
Regardless of age, you have to say that Silva looks a poor investment at £35m. Though his potential is clear, he’s nowhere near ready to cope with the cut and thrust of English football. Will learn from this season though and hopefully benefit from a full pre-season.
Willian Jose – Move
Maligned on social media, Jose has struggled to make an impact in old gold and almost certainly won’t be bought. However, he has provided a much-needed focal point in Raul’s absence and taken some of the weight off Silva’s young shoulders.
Raul Jimenez – Keep
If we didn’t know how important our number nine was before his injury, we do now. Put simply, Wolves are a pale imitation of their usual selves without Jimenez. It’ll be a special day when we can serenade the Mexican with chants of ‘Si Senor’ once again.