Andy Thompson and Lee Naylor have lavished praise on Jose Sa, after the goalkeeper won both the Supporters’ and Player’s Player of the Season awards for Wolves.
The 29-year-old scooped the awards on Sunday following the 1-1 draw with Norwich City at Molineux.
Sa joined Wanderers last summer from Olympiacos in a move that many people were a little bit wary about.
Rui Patricio had departed the club just days earlier to join AS Roma.
While he had not had his best campaign in 2020/21, the consensus was still that Patricio was a highly capable goalkeeper.
But Wolves took the decision to sell, and Sa came in.
And he quickly set about showing what a fantastic goalkeeper he is.
Sa has shown himself to be an upgrade on Patricio, and appears to have quite a few more strings to his bow. The way he reads dangerous through balls is particularly impressive. That was a trait his predecessor didn’t showcase very often.
Speaking after the acknowledgment for him in Sunday, former full-back Thompson said: “I think he was more than a worthy winner because of the amount of outstanding performances he had. His handling and the possession in his feet on the ball with his passing range, he’s been doing that all year.
“He’s been a bargain. He’s done a great job and I know he’s had a couple of erratic moments, but he’s been outstanding with the level he’s been playing at throughout the season. It was a tough position to come into because he had big shoes to fill in Rui Patricio, who was an outstanding keeper as well, so to fill that gap and then to go on in his first season the way he has, it’s been outstanding for him.”
Naylor added: “To have your goalkeeper as player of the season, I’ve always found that strange. But every time I’ve seen him, he’s been top drawer, so fair play to him because he’s deserved it.”
Quite possibly, Sa may have had stronger competition had Ruben Neves and Max Kilman not both suffered injuries recently.
Jose Sa deserves immense credit for the season he’s had at Wolves
Sa’s level this season has been exceptionally high.
Yes, he’s had a few iffy moments here and there. But given his style, you have to expect those.
The good far outweighs the bad though. Without doubt, Wolves would have been nowhere near the European places had Sa not been as good as he has been.
He came into the season under a bit of pressure.
Patricio showed a really high level during his time at Molineux. To come and replace the Portugal number one may have been a daunting prospect for Sa.
He was upagainst it, but Sa has thrived, and is now a firm favourite with supporters.
Hopefully, he can play to a similarly high standard next season.