Having achieved the primary objective of avoiding relegation from the Premier League, Wolves boss Julen Lopetegui will already be looking ahead to what can be achieved in the 2023/24 campaign.
Wolves have come through some tough spells this season but with the Spanish tactician at the helm, getting back to competing for European places will be back on the agenda for the club next term.
Lopetegui Steered The Club To Calmer Waters
Coming to Molineux with the club struggling at the wrong end of the table, Lopetegui replaced Bruno Lage back in November and has done a fine job to help Wolves climb away from danger. At one stage Wolves looked like being one of the big names in danger of the drop but sporadic victories meant the club were able to slowly pull away from the bottom three. It has left big names like Everton, Leeds United and Leicester City in danger of the drop, with the Foxes at 1/9 in the latest EPL relegation odds. The Toffees, Whites and Foxes are battling for survival and many football tips will have two of the three potentially playing Championship games next season. All three of those clubs changed managers after Wolves made the switch to Lopetegui and it has proved to be a great move by the hierarchy at Molineux.
The likes of Sean Dyche, Dean Smith and Sam Allardyce have been brought in at Goodison Park, the King Power and Elland Road respectively to try and turn things around for those clubs. Wolves’ call to act early to bring in Lopetegui and use the break for the 2022 World Cup has proven to be a smart move by the higher ups at Molineux and was a decision that means the club don’t have to go into the final games with the stress of a relegation dogfight.
A Fresh Start Next Season
While Lopetegui has put some foundations in place to build on for next season, this summer does feel like an opportunity to draw a line in the sand and put the 2022/23 campaign in the rearview mirror. Many of the Wolves players will have learned plenty from the hard times this season and that should stand them in good stead as they look to challenge much higher up the table next term.
Other clubs have shown it can be done, with Brighton being a prime example this season under Roberto De Zerbi. The Italian took the reins from Graham Potter on the south coast and turned the Seagulls into a side pushing for European football for next season. That’s where Wolves are looking to be in the 2023/24 campaign and it looks set to be an intriguing summer in the transfer window at Molineux. Lopetegui will look to bring his own players in ahead of the new season and the 56-year-old will have a good idea on where he needs to strengthen. Having managed Real Madrid, followed by a spell with Sevilla and the Spanish national side, there could be one or two players who make the move from La Liga over the summer. Regardless of where they come from, Lopetegui should be able to attract a high standard of player that can help take Wolves back to the level of competing for European places once again.
It has certainly been a year of ups and downs but the excitement is already starting to grow on what Wolves can achieve under Lopetegui next season.