A superb 2017/18 season saw Wolverhampton Wanderers secure a return to the Premier League as they were promoted as champions from the Championship. Given the investment in the playing staff, as well as strong ties to super-agent Jorge Mendes, Wolves were among the favourites prior to their last campaign. They now look forward to their first Premier League campaign since the 2011/12 season, and their fans have cause for optimism.
They have wasted no time in recruiting some top players this summer, with more potentially set to sign on the dotted line to join the midlands club. With an impressive manager in Nuno Espirito Santo, the sky’s the limit for Wolves. However, what do they offer for FPL managers this term? Will any of their stars make the cut for your side?
STAR MAN – Diogo Jota (£6.5m)
It was tough to choose a star man for Wolves. In terms of status I would have suggested Ruben Neves, however from the viewpoint of an FPL manager Diogo Jota gets the nod. Since they were playing in the Championship last season, we have no previous FPL records to refer to.
Therefore, I was forced to consider what I have seen from Nuno’s side last season, as well as considering their recent additions. Jota has been deployed across a front three in the past, and in a recent friendly against Ajax, the former Atletico Madrid forward started as the no. 9 in a 1-1 draw. If this is indicative of where he may feature this season, then he may be a bargain given his assigned midfielder role on FPL.
Starting 43 of his sides 46 matches last campaign, Jota recorded 17 goals and 5 assists as his side strode towards an impressive league title. This return is certainly impressive in his first season in England, however it remains to be seen whether the Portuguese man can adapt to the challenges of the Premier League.
Will Jota be considered by FPL managers? Given that he is almost certain to be deployed in an advanced position, I think he offers decent value at £6.5m. Also, with just 7.6% ownership, he may well be a decent differential this season.
HIDDEN GEM – Ivan Cavaleiro (£5.5m)
One player who may go under the radar for FPL managers this season is former Benfica and Monaco winger Ivan Cavaleiro. Whilst he didn’t manage the same goal returns as others such as Diogo Jota and Leo Bonatini, he was certainly one of the key assist makers for Wolves. Making 31 league starts, the Portuguese winger managed 5 goals and 12 assists in the league. Only Barry Douglas set up more goals for Wolves. This certainly makes Cavaleiro a viable FPL option. An exciting player, one would hope he can provide the same flair in the Premier League as he did last season in the Championship.
He also represents great value at just £5.5m as a midfielder on FPL. He may represent a rotation risk, with Wolves’ wealth of attacking prowess. However, last season he seemed to secure one of those wing spots ahead of Helder Costa. Similar to Jota, it may be worth letting Wolves play out their difficult early fixtures before selecting Cavaleiro.
BARGAIN – Matt Doherty (£4.5m)
Perhaps one that may go under the radar in a side that offers so much attacking talent as Wolves is Irish wing-back Matt Doherty. He was a standout performer for Wolves, operating on the right-hand side for Nuno’s team. He looks set to retain his starting place ahead of the new season. I would likely have gone for Barry Douglas, however he looks set to join Championship side Leeds United.
In his 45 appearances last season he recorded 8 goal contributions, which goes to show what he can offer offensively. Given his FPL allocation as a defender this gives him opportunities for defensive returns while he often spends more time going forward.
While a solid option long term, it may be worth waiting until after Wolves’ initial fun of fixtures before getting him. That said, at £4.5m there’s little ventured with Doherty and it may be worth benching him initially. Opening fixtures: Everton (H), Leicester (A) & Man City (H).
PREDICTED LINE UP
Boly – Coady – Saiss
Doherty – Moutinho – Neves – Jonny
Costa – Jota – Cavaleiro
Written by Ryan Nevin (@RNevin7)