Bruno Lage has showered praise on Romain Saiss, ahead of the defender leaving Wolves to participate in AFCON.
The 31-year-old has been in wonderful form in 2021/22, and has started every Premier League game so far.
That is probably not something most Wolves fans saw coming before a ball was kicked.
But Willy Boly’s injury problems have allowed the Moroccan to stay in the team and build momentum.
He has formed a terrific understanding with those around him operating as a left-sided centre-back.
He has played a huge part in Wolves having the second-best defence in the division up to now.
Saiss is currently gearing up to face Manchester United tomorrow evening, but after that he will head to AFCON to captain Morocco, whom he already has 53 caps for.
It’s a big blow for Wolves to be losing the ace, and Lage knows it.
He said: “Saiss is a big impact. What I know is that we’re going to miss a very important player for us, not just for me, Saiss has been an important player for the last four or five years for the club, he’s doing very well, he’s a leader and he’s scored three goals.
“So, you can see the importance of Saiss for me and for my team.”
It remains to be seen if Wolves will move to sign a new central defender this month to provide cover.
There is also a chance the club could recall youngster Dion Sanderson from his loan at Birmingham City.
Romain Saiss absence will ask questions of Wolves
Wolves fans always knew it was coming, but Saiss leaving for AFCON is going to make for interesting reading.
He has become a very important cog in the defensive machine at Molineux.
He has looked great on the left of that back three. The idea of him coming out of the backline is a little concerning.
He had built impressive momentum, so whoever replaces him – whether it be someone like Fernando Marcal or Leander Dendoncker – has big shoes to fill.