Girona had little choice but to sell Santiago Bueno to Wolves when the Premier League outfit submitted an £8.5 million bid for the Uruguay international, the La Liga club’s sporting director Quique Carcel explains. 

High-flying Girona, Carcel points out, did not expect to lose their highly-rated centre-half during the summer transfer window. 

That was, however, until Wolves came calling in the final week of August; stumping up the sort of bid the Catalan outfit simply couldn’t turn down. Santiago ‘Santi’ Bueno, capped twice by the Uruguayan national team, joined on a busy deadline day for a cool 10 million euros.

Real Sociedad V Girona Fc - La Liga Santander
Photo By Ricardo Larreina/Europa Press via Getty Images

Wolves land Uruguay defender Santi Bueno

“It’s been a complicated market,” Carcel tells the Girona website. “We thought that Santi Bueno would not leave.  

“But the offer was good. (So) it was the time to do it. That’s why we brought Eric (Garcia from Barcelona as Bueno’s replacement).”

Bueno made 34 La Liga appearances in 2022/23 as Girona avoided an immediate return to the second tier. The 6ft 1ins centre-half brings invaluable strength in depth to Gary O’Neil’s dressing room too; the sales of Nathan Collins and Conor Coady to Brentford and Leicester City respectively leaving Craig Dawson, Max Kilman and Toti Gomes as Wolves’ only other options in the centre of defence. 

‘He’s a perfect fit’

“This is a signing we’ve been working on for a while,” says Matt Hobbs, the Wolves chief explaining that legendary Uruguay boss Marcelo Bielsa thinks the world of a man who inherits the number four shirt from Collins at Molineux. 

“Uruguay are renowned for producing world class centre backs. At 24, he’s a good age, with a great football education coming through Barcelona B. We were one centre back short, so now we think in that group of four we’ve got a little bit of everything so we’re really happy.

“His personality is one we look for in a player, driven, hungry, hardworking and humble, but with a bit of an edge and can play. He’s a perfect fit for what we’ve been looking for.

“(Bueno is) another right footer, so we’ve got two each now. He’s six foot four inches and aggressive, as you’d expect from a Uruguayan centre back, but he can play too. He’ll be our second youngest centre back, so is also one for the future, whilst being ready to go now.”

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