Carl Ikeme has lavished praise on Wolves goalkeeper Jose Sa in the Athletic, for a piece examining whether the goalkeeper is the signing of the Premier League season.
Ikeme shared how he has been incredibly impressed with Sa and the way he has replaced Rui Patricio so far this term.
The former Wolves number one said that Sa is also helping Conor Coady improve with his more proactive style of play.
“I could see it in those first few games,” Ikeme said of how good Sa is. “It’s like seeing a midfielder’s technical skills the first time, you just know they’ve got that ability. I’d look at Sa thinking how sharp he was; his movement was brilliant, he was coming off his line and for crosses, and then technically he was superb. He’s proved it for 20 games now.
“I can’t praise him enough, I’m quite excited about him. He’s still a baby in goalkeeper terms (Sa is 29). When he came in, I assumed he was a good keeper but I didn’t know how good. As a keeper myself, I can see it. And with Wolves being my club, it’s even better to see.
“A lot of keepers tend to play further back on their line. Jose’s starting position allows him to play sweeper at times, which helps the team defensively, they can play higher up the pitch and make the game more compressed. Coady has been brilliant for years but he looks like he’s improved again. Possibly they’re having a positive impact on each other.
“Rui wasn’t as aggressive off his line. He made big saves as well, but Jose is aggressive and maybe that helps Coads. He reads the game really well and you can see the back line and the keeper have a good relationship. In terms of technical ability, Sa is better than Rui.”
It looks like Coady has gone to a new level this term and the way that Wolves are moving under Bruno Lage is the right one in terms of a sustainable level of success.
They could not get to where they want to go being so reactive, but Lage has made them even more solid and laying the groundwork for a more proactive style.
That may result in a switch to a back four at some point down the line, which would be a new challenge for Coady and Sa when it comes, but the way they are playing now, that should not worry them.
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