Former Wolves player Dave Edwards has said it was ‘really strange’ that Joao Moutinho was absent from Molineux on Saturday.
It was Wolves’ final home game of the season against Everton, and the game was perhaps a chance for some players to say their goodbyes to the fans.
Ruben Neves got a great reception when Julen Lopetegui took him off towards the end of the game.
Ditto Adama Traore, who left the action at the same time.
Raul Jimenez was denied the chance for a proper farewell, with Lopetegui keeping him on the bench.
That decision has been slammed by many Wolves fans, who wanted to see him at least get some minutes. It’s been widely reported the Mexican will be leaving this summer.
But there wasn’t even a place on the bench for Moutinho.
Jonny Castro Otto was also left out of the squad.
Neither of those players were present at Molineux, despite not being a part of the squad.
Speaking after the game, Lopetegui explained Moutinho’s absence, saying (via The Athletic): “He (Moutinho) is one of the players that I was thinking to play today because he has worked well.
“But it’s not about my choices, it is about his will and I have to respect his situation.
“Maybe sometimes you have to talk with the player to see whether they are ready to play, or if they want to play, and if they prefer not to play you have respect that situation. He was a player I was thinking deserved to play today because he has worked very hard and he has been one of the most important players, in the first month above all for us.”
There hasn’t really been any more information on the Moutinho situation since Saturday.
Edwards has spoken about the 36-year-old in his latest Express & Star column. He said: “It was really strange that he did not want to be involved – if he has played his last game for Wolves it is sad he has not been able to say his farewells too.
“I talk about Neves being one of Wolves best ever players. But Moutinho has been an absolute joy to watch – and it is a shame he was not at the game to say his goodbyes.”
Many fans will agree with Dave Edwards about Joao Moutinho
It certainly was strange that both Moutinho and Jonny weren’t at Molineux on Saturday.
Like with Jimenez not being given minutes, it does just make you wonder if there has been a falling out of some kind.
Hopefully that is not the case, but it’s difficult to think otherwise. Why else would they both just not be there.
Moutinho – who cost Wolves just £5 million – not getting a final reception at Molineux is a sad feeling.
The man has been an absolutely incredible signing and servant for Wolves, and many hold the opinion that he’s the best player ever to don the shirt above even Ruben Neves and Steve Bull.
If he does not get any minutes against Arsenal on Sunday, then that really will be a crying shame.