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Dave Edwards questions Lopetegui's Adama Traore substitution against Manchester United

Former Molineux midfielder Dave Edwards has questioned Julen Lopetegui’s substitution of Diego Costa for Adama Traore for Wolves against Manchester United.

Wolves lost their final Premier League game of 2022 1-0 to the Red Devils at Molineux.

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Despite giving perhaps their best performance under the new manager so far, the players had nothing to show for their efforts in the end.

Marcus Rashford got the goal for the visitors.

Wolves missed out on the chance to climb out of the relegation zone, which would have been huge psychologically.

Lopetegui made an interesting decision midway through the contest, replacing Costa with Traore.

The Spaniard moved out to his favoured right wing position, with Hwang Hee-chan then moving inside to play through the middle.

It was a move that didn’t really work out though.

Hwang was ineffective, and Edwards feels it didn’t make much sense.

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He said (via Express & Star): “I was a bit perplexed to see Adama Traore come on for Costa at half-time. Putting him out wide with Hwang in the middle didn’t make sense. Adama comes on to make crosses, but there’s no-one arriving in the box. (Raul) Jimenez needed to come on a lot earlier.”

Jimenez entered the action with around 10 minutes to go, replacing Daniel Podence.

He had one brilliant chance deep into injury-time.

But his header at the near post from a corner was saved by David De Gea who was perfectly positioned.

Dave Edwards has a point about Adama Traore substitution – but Hwang has greater match sharpness than Jimenez

It was a move that ultimately didn’t really work out, but one can understand Lopetegui’s thinking.

Jimenez may be nearing full fitness again, but he isn’t currently match sharp. It’s about increasing his minutes gradually in order to get there.

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The manager felt Costa needed bringing off, but clearly didn’t feel Jimenez was the right option at that early point in the match.

Hwang has played through the middle before, and so Traore for Costa was the sub he went with.