Thursday, 16 August 2018
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Wolves could be about to miss out on summer transfer target to European side – reports

Wolves could be about to miss out on summer transfer target to European side – reports
30 Jul
9:47

Reports in Turkey claim that Galatasaray are on the verge of completing a loan deal for AC Milan forward Andre Silva.

Silva has been heavily linked with a move to Wolverhampton Wanderers for a large chunk of the summer, and the Milan Sporting Director Massimo Mirabelli told the Italian press recently that the Rossoneri have received an offer from Wolves to take Silva on loan.

Silva has endured a difficult first season at the San Siro after completing a big money move from Porto in his native Portugal. He scored 11 times for club and country last season but remarkably only managed two goals in Serie A.

Despite this questionable form in front of goal, the 22-year-old was still picked to be a part of Portugal’s World Cup squad in Russia this summer.

Silva played in the group games against Spain and Iran and also featured in the knock-out clash with Uruguay as Portugal bowed out of the tournament at the last 16 stage.

Heading back to Italy, where cash strapped Milan are in all sorts of bother, Silva reportedly made it clear to Wolves’ associate Mendes – who has overseen Cristiano Ronaldo’s move to Juventus – that he wishes to leave if possible.

Silva, who has worked with Nuno Espirito Santo before when the pair were at Porto, is believed to open to a reunion. Valencia, ironically Nuno’s former club, were another club interested in Silva and are able to offer him Champions League football.

Despite not quite taking to football in Italy like the proverbial duck to water, Mirabelli insisted that manager Gennaro Gattuso is determined to make the move work and will continue to push him.

That said, loan offers are on the table should things not work out, from Wolves and Galatasaray.

“We have invested heavily in André and Gattuso will still test him on the pitch. If it does not work, we want him to play in a top club,” Mirabelli said.

Now there are suggestions from the Turkish press that Super Lig giants Galatasaray are closing in on the forward.

Wolves are still planning on doing business in the coming weeks before the deadline passes. There are now question marks over the pursuit of Adama Traore, after the winger dislocated his shoulder in a pre-season friendly playing for Middlesbrough.

They’ve also been linked with a move for Joao Mario.

Many thanks

Barry Douglas has sent a heartfelt thank you to the Wolverhampton Wanderers supporters after admitting the move to Leeds United was ‘taken out of his hands’.

The left wing-back only arrived at Molineux last summer from Turkish outfit Konyaspor for a fee of £1m and proved a bargain; he scored five goals in 14 assists in 39 league games as Wolves lifted the Championship title.

Expected to be first-choice in the Premier League, rather surprisingly Douglas was sold this weekend back to the Championship, and to Leeds.

It appears the move, too, was something of a surprise to the player himself, but he took to Twitter to show his gratitude to the old gold faithful for supporting him and welcoming his family into the club.

“So where do I begin…the last week has been crazy, from being totally focused and preparing for the start of the new season with Wolves to then being made aware I would no longer be part of the plan going forward,” Douglas said.

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“The decision to leave was ultimately taken out of my hands, but such is life!

“This situation has taught me to always expect the unexpected.

“I’ve had an unbelievable journey last season and I’m so thankful and honoured to have been a part of it, I met many amazing people there and wish all the back-room staff and the players all the very best in their careers, the club is going incredible places and I look forward to watching them grow.

“To every single fan: thank you for your continued support throughout the season, also the way you made Debbie and Kaidyn feel a part of the Wolves family is truly appreciated, we have made some amazing memories here we will cherish forever.

“Wolves ay we.”

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What kind of player are Leeds getting?

Barry Douglas promises to be an excellent signing for Marco Bielsa and Leeds United, writes Ryan Plant.

Wolves’ decision to let him go has largely been met by derision from Wolves fans, which should show the Elland Road faithful the calibre of player that they are getting.

Douglas arrived at Molineux on a two-year deal from Turkish club Konyaspor – he has also played for Polish giants Lech Poznan, Dundee United and Queen’s Park.

What kind of defender are Leeds getting? Well, he played 39 Championship games last season as Wolves conceded just 39 goals, the joint lowest in the league alongside Cardiff City.

He was a threat going forward, too – he scored five goals and made 14 assists, which made him the joint-best creator in the league alongside Robert Snodgrass.

Douglas was pivotal in helping Wolves successfully move away from Paul Lambert’s rigid four-at-the-back formation into a fluid, three-in-defence system under Nuno that used wing-backs. Douglas occupied the left side, ahead of AS Monaco loanee Ruben Vinagre, and Matt Doherty was on the right.

Nuno’s ideals are largely similar to Bielsa’s, in that they both prioritise an attacking, beautiful style of play over quick-fix tactics to grind out results.

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At his former clubs, which include Athletic Club and Marseille, Bielsa used fluid systems that encouraged his wing-backs to charge forward, pressing high up the pitch – Douglas is capable of that, which he proved at Wolves.

This means the intensity in Bielsa’s Leeds team promises to be high – Douglas is not the quickest, but he was only substituted five times during his 39 league appearances, showing endurance is not an issue.

When he did get forward, his ability to create chances and score goals in different ways was important for Wolves, with rival defenders preoccupied attempting to stop Diogo Jota, Ivan Cavaleiro, Helder Costa and co.

He scored a stunning free-kick against Leeds over Andy Lonergan’s wall, his first Championship goal was a crashing effort away to Derby County and his goal at home to Brentford was scored from the edge of the penalty area with his weaker right foot – he is an indispensable attacking asset that can also defend well.

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The manner in which he created goals also made it impossible for defences to second guess his deliveries – Wolves scored 17 goals from set-pieces last season, which was no wonder with Douglas, Cavaleiro and Ruben Neves able to take them.

Leo Bonatini headed in Douglas’ delivery against Fulham in November unmarked at the near post but against Middlesborough the Scotsman’s cross found Costa free round the back, gifting him a chance to volley home – his ability to pick out a man gave Wolves an extra threat.

His best game last season was against Bristol City in December: he scored a free-kick to equalise at Ashton Gate before crossing for Ryan Bennett to head home a winning goal in the dying seconds, in a 2-1 victory.

Douglas took until March of this year to earn a spot in Scotland’s squad, despite the form of Kieran Tierney at Celtic and Andy Robertson at Liverpool – that should be a testament to his Wolves form, given that he has appeared in the Champions League and Europa League previously.

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Wolves transfer news: Barry Douglas signs for Leeds United

Douglas was clever enough to find space out wide that allowed Neves to find him with one of his trademark long passes, opening holes in the opposition’s defence – Leeds do not possess a midfielder able to play passes like Neves, granted, but that could change when the Bielsa regime gets going.

However, there are obvious reasons why Wolves are letting him go. Firstly, as has been mentioned previously, he is not particularly quick – he struggled against the fastest wingers the Championship had to offer last season, and rarely dribbled past his marker.

He will also turn 29 in September – he will not be able to play the way that Bielsa demands for a long time, and his contract at Wolves was to finish this time next year, anyway. 19-year-old Vinagre should prove to be his long-term replacement, and Spanish defender Jonny Castro is also on his way to the West Midlands.

All in all, Bielsa has campaigned for an intelligent, fluid style of play wherever he has managed – Douglas’ addition, but for a few minor weaknesses, will help that, and he is certainly an improvement on Vurnon Anita.

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