The last time Wolverhampton Wanderers competed in the top flight of English football, in 2011/12, the season ended with just five league wins and the club firmly rooted to the bottom of the table.
It was a total disaster of a campaign and one that will always be remembered for the wrong reasons. A brief drop into League One followed, and then Wolves would endure four straight seasons in Championship before winning the title with two games to spare in April 2018.
Next season, 2018/19, the club return to the Premier League knowing they have earned the right to play among the best in the country. However, this time they are determined to stay where they rightfully belong.
Let’s look at a few reasons why many believe Wolves can establish themselves in the Premier League.
Chairman Jeff Shi has injected a serious amount of cash into the club, proven with the almost £16m spent to bring in Ruben Neves from Porto last season.
There is likely to be a huge transfer budget available ahead of the new campaign and several big-name players have been linked with a move to Molineux.
The list of potential signings includes Portuguese goalkeeper Rui Patricio, England keeper Jack Butland, Newcastle striker Aleksandar Mitrovic, Arsenal pair Jack Wilshere and Reiss Nelson, and AC Milan forward Andre Silva, among several others.
Out-of-contract Yaya Toure, part of the Manchester City side considered by some as the greatest ever Premier League squad after last season’s dominant performance, is also apparently on the radar.
Wolves dominated the Championship last season, finishing nine points ahead of Cardiff City in second and sitting atop the table for the majority of the season.
That was down to a squad which stood head and shoulders above everyone else in the division, despite some of their rivals being made up of Premier League quality players.
This showed that Wolves already have the quality in their side to beat Premier League standard teams and that increases the confidence ahead of their return to the top flight.
Neves is just one of several internationals in the squad, including Romain Saiss, Matt Doherty, Barry Douglas, and Ivan Cavaleiro. With the probability of adding more quality to an already good squad, the potential is there for Wolves to really cause a stir in the top flight.
The Chairman and manager Nuno do not just want to stay in the Premier League next season, they want the club to compete at the top end of the table and reach the Champions League as soon as possible.
This will ensure they spend the money to bring in top quality, even world class, players to ensure the club aren’t left behind their rivals.
Ambition can lead this football club to success, especially when the backing is there to make it happen.
Success of Other Clubs
Last season, Newcastle, Brighton and Huddersfield proved that newly promoted sides are no longer just cannon fodder and that they can hold their own among the elite in this country.
Newcastle finished tenth, despite limited backing from the powers-that-be, while Brighton and Huddersfield finished fifteenth and sixteenth respectively.
There is less of a gulf in quality between the Premier League and Championship at present, with clubs going up proving they can compete.
Wolves are potentially better equipped than any of the three promoted teams from last season were, and that means they could perform even better than the best of that bunch.
It is definitely an exciting time at Wolverhampton Wanderers FC and nobody knows just how far this current crop of players can take the club. With some strong additions this summer, there’s every chance that the club can finish comfortably in the top half of the table, which would be a great achievement and set Wolves in the right direction to become an established top-flight team once again.
This will be the third time Wolves will feature in the Premier League since its inception in 1992/93, but in both of these prior occasions, there was nowhere near as much optimism around Molineux as there is now.