Bruno Lage has insisted he trusts ‘a lot’ in Ki-Jana Hoever, despite overlooking him for Saturday’s FA Cup clash with Norwich City.
Hoever had been unavailable for Wolves for the game with Sheffield United after testing positive for Covid-19.
Nelson Semedo played instead, but it was expected that Hoever would feature against the Canaries.
But Lage decided to keep the faith with Semedo, who admittedly is having an excellent season.
Hoever was therefore back on the bench.
The 2020 signing from Liverpool has only played a handful of games this season due to the brilliant form of Semedo.
So far, he has turned out just eight times across all competitions, for a total of 370 minutes on the pitch.
Despite having barely feature, Lage has stated he trusts the young Dutchman to come in and do a job when required.
He said (Express & Star): “I trust a lot in Ki. Remember, he did that mistake against Liverpool and in the next game he played against Chelsea and played well, and Semedo was on the bench.
“Now it’s about me finding the best solutions every time and you never know. We are playing games in the middle of the week and I have to take my decisions so the best players go to the pitch.
“It’s now about them and how they’re training to (get a chance to) play. The League Cup is different but the FA Cup and Premier League games for me are the same.”
Wolves have Arsenal next up in the Premier League. It is probably pretty like that Semedo will start and Hoever will have to make do with a place in the bench once again.
Hoever may have been disappointed not to start for Wolves against Norwich
It was quite a surprise to see Semedo starting against the Canaries instead of Hoever.
The youngster is obviously firmly behind the 28-year-old in the pecking order. And so, you would think FA Cup games would be an opportunity for him. But clearly Lage sees them like Premier League games.
He was very unfortunate to test positive for Covid and miss the game with Sheffield United.
But it’s likely he would have been very disappointed not starting against Norwich.
And with Wolves now out of both cup competitions, it’s difficult to see where the minutes will come from for Hoever.
Lage says he trusts him. And he did throw him in for that game against Chelsea in December.
But it remains to be seen just how much game time he’ll get between now and the end of the season. It surely can’t be that much with Semedo having gone to another level this season.