Jean-Ricner Bellegarde is already making a big impression on Gary O’Neil with Wolves’ £13 million deadline day signing in line for a Premier League debut against Liverpool this weekend. 

Arriving at Molineux on the back of two goals and two assists in his last three games at Strasabourg, Wolverhampton Wanderers have got their mitts on one of Europe’s most in-form central midfielders. 

And Jean-Ricner Bellegarde could make an immediate hero of himself in Old Gold if he can replicate the stunning free-kick he scored against Lyon back in August; a Wolves debut on the cards when Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool arrive in the Black Country ahead of Saturday’s lunchtime kick-off. 

Wolverhampton Wanderers Unveil New Signing Jean-Ricner Bellegarde
Photo by Jack Thomas – WWFC/Wolves via Getty Images

A potential bargain at around £13 million, Bellegarde has done his hopes of a place in the team no harm at all either, making an excellent early impression on his new head coach. 

Jean-Ricner Bellegarde impressing at Wolves

“He’s been excellent in training,” O’Neil tells the Wolves website. “Very, very good. His approach, his work ethic, how well he understands what you ask, there’s no fuss about him.  

“(Bellegarde) never questions (our instructions). He has a good understanding and is willing to do it. He has a fantastic attitude, quality and athleticism. 

“It’s a step up into the Premier League. But we’re excited to see how well and how quickly he can adjust, and what impact he can have on it.” 

Wolves host Liverpool at Molineux

There may also be a first Wolves appearance against Liverpool for Tommy Doyle (arriving from Manchester City as Matheus Nunes went in the other direction). New £8.5 million centre-back Santiago ‘Santi’ Bueno too. 

Bueno, capped twice by Uruguay and rated very highly by the legendary Marcelo Bielsa, adds much-needed depth and competition for a Wolves backline weakened by the sales of Nathan Collins and Conor Coady. 

Crystal Palace v Wolverhampton Wanderers - Premier League
Photo by Steve Bardens/Getty Images

“He’s a good footballer. Good with the ball and has athleticism as well,” O’Neil says of Bueno, who arrived from Girona in the final week of the window.

“I haven’t seen a lot of him. He did a day with us before the Crystal Palace game, and he got a call up into the Uruguay squad so only arrived back today for training. It was important we had four senior centre-halves and also that he’s a good player who will add competition for the two who have the shirt.”

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