As someone who recognised the need to part ways with Nuno, albeit still saddened by the news of his departure when it came, I’m excited by the promise of a new direction.
Candidates with the pedigree of Sergio Conceicao and Paulo Fonseca initially got the juices flowing, but I’ve increasingly warmed to the attack-minded Bruno Lage being the one to usher in a new era.
Reassuringly, with echoes of Nuno replacing Lambert, Fosun have shown clinical and decisive leadership in their decision to move on with Lage. Jeff an co are still very much the ones in charge.
Talk of 4411, goals galore, free flowing football and a 79% win ratio at Benfica suggests Bruno has a rather different view of the beautiful game to his predecessor. Of course, it won’t be that straightforward for at Wolves, but the vision still excites.
And that’s before we mention the work he’s done with the likes of Joao Felix, Joao Cancelo, Ruben Dias.
Admittedly, the recruitment needs to be good. There’s no point hiring a coach to deliver a completely different philosophy if he’s not going to be backed.
Speculation of replacing Rui with Jose Sa for little net spend appeals, as Patricio’s inability to command his area and woeful distribution makes him dispensable.
In defence, Bruno’s liking for full backs bombing on could suit Ait-Nouri (I’d be surprised if we don’t sign him) and Semedo, while two new centre backs are a must. Boly and certainly Saiss are past their peak and I wonder if Conor will be the same player in a back four and without the manager who was instrumental to his career.
Midfield is crucially as important, and we must do all we can to keep Neves and build the team around him. I’m convinced Ruben can return to the dictating midfield maestro we all know and love under a more progressive manager. And if Bruno’s going to play technical players out wide that tuck in, then Adama seems the more natural option to be sold.
It feels like it’s time to move on from the declining Moutinho, and Dendoncker is hopelessly ineffective. We’re crying out for a physical but technically competent midfielder to protect Ruben (or his replacement). And I can’t wait to see Bruno work with Vitinha (if we sign him), who seems suited for a role out wide as an inverted winger or filling the Felix role behind the striker.
The signing of Vincius also seems like a sensible buy if we can include Vinagre in the deal. He thrived under Bruno and there’s plenty of doubt around Raul being the same player again and Silva’s readiness.
This a major reset at the club, with Bruno looking to introduce a new playing style and the potential of a radical squad overhaul. Things are changing at the Molineux. There’s so many unknowns, but that uncertainty excites.