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Grading Wolves' summer signings as club football now suspends

Wolves have had a very tough start to the 2022/23 season.

Optimism was very high coming into the new campaign given the transfer activity in the summer.

But results and performances have been bad, and many fans have been restless at times.

Photo by Jack Thomas – WWFC/Wolverhampton Wanderers FC via Getty Images

Bruno Lage was sacked at the start of October, and results haven’t really picked up since Steve Davis has been in charge.

But Julen Lopetegui is now officially in place as Wolves’ new manager, and hopes are high that he can turn things around.

Some fans have been dismayed to see Wolves fall to the bottom of the table given how good the summer window seemingly was.

Here’s how those that came in have fared so far, in order of when they signed, with a grade.

Hwang Hee-chan not included, as he is technically not a ‘new’ signing.

Nathan Collins

Collins was the first addition of the summer for Wolves, with the club raiding relegated Burnley for the Republic of Ireland international.

There was real euphoria when he signed, because Wanderers had been so inactive for weeks in the window.

So far, Collins has probably been Wolves’ best signing.

Photo by Jack Thomas – WWFC/Wolves via Getty Images

The star started off really well in a partnership with Maximilian Kilman.

In recent weeks he has just dipped a bit. Since coming back from suspension, he has been a bit shaky at times.

But it’s clear that he has huge potential, and has all the traits of a quality, modern-day central defender. He’s still quite inexperienced, so patience is required, but he’ll be a great player for Wolves.

GRADE – B

Goncalo Guedes

Wolves followed up the signing of Collins, with Guedes from Valencia.

The hype when Guedes came in was huge, with the club having chased him for a long time before actually finally getting him.

At £27.5 million plus add-ons, it was felt that the club had done really good business.

Unfortunately, Guedes has been really underwhelming so far.

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He has one assist and one goal to his name up to now, and he just hasn’t really had much of an impact in Wolves colours.

His decision-making has not been great, as he hasn’t yet adapted to the physicality of the league.

And some have said they haven’t particularly felt connected to Guedes yet.

In the last two games the 25-year-old has definitely looked much better though, and under Lopetegui he could really find his feet.

GRADE – D

Matheus Nunes

Nunes was probably the marquee signing of the summer for Wolves.

He was on the radars of some big clubs across Europe, but the relationship with Jorge Mendes helped bring the 24-year-old to Molineux.

Nunes’ talents are undeniable. But Wolves fans are yet to see them consistently.

Photo by Jack Thomas – WWFC/Wolverhampton Wanderers FC via Getty Images

He is fantastic at taking the ball from deeper positions and surging through the lines.

But for some reason, we’ve been seeing him operate in a more advanced role for Wolves so far, and it seemingly doesn’t play to his strengths.

He can be the star player in this team. Lopetegui just needs to get an arm around his shoulder, and tweak his position.

GRADE – C

Sasa Kalajdzic

Wolves fans were delighted to see a new striker come in, after the club made the decision to loan out Fabio Silva to Anderlecht.

The season had already started, and Raul Jimenez had also picked up a knee and groin injury in pre-season.

So Kalajdzic’s arrival couldn’t come soon enough really.

He was thrown in from the start against Southampton just days after he signed, and he looked good in the opening stages against the Saints.

Photo by Jack Thomas – WWFC/Wolverhampton Wanderers FC via Getty Images

But just before half-time, Kalajdzic contested an aerial battle and landed awkwardly.

After playing on until half-time, he was then substitute, and Wolves would eventually announced that he had suffered an ACL injury.

He’s out for the season, making this a terrible signing. But obviously, it’s not Kalajdzic’s fault, and so it’s unfair to give him a grade based off his 45 minutes of action.

GRADE – N/A

Boubacar Traore

Traore came in on deadline day, following the departure of Leander Dendoncker earlier in the day.

Wolves completed a loan deal for him, and there is an option to sign the star from FC Metz next year for just under £10 million.

Traore has started to see a bit more game time in recent weeks for Wolves.

At first, he seemed a bit chaotic and awkward on the pitch. It was quite evident that he was trying really hard to make an impression. Perhaps too hard.

Photo by Matthew Ashton – AMA/Getty Images

But he’s really improved in the last few games and is starting to look more comfortable.

He brings some really good qualities to the midfield, like mobility, tenacity and aggression.

Wolves’ midfield has been crying out for these traits for a long time, and Traore is looking like a brilliant find. Potentially, the club has a real gem on its hands.

GRADE – B

Diego Costa

Few fans at the start of the summer would have believed that Diego Costa would have pitched up at Molineux.

But Wolves were kind of forced to turn to him following the injury to Kalajdzic and the fitness problems of Jimenez.

Costa was a free agent having left Atletico Mineiro in January. Seemingly, he was the best option with the window having closed.

The excitement was huge over Costa signing, and the amazing announcement video that featured actual wolves only added to the hype. But sadly, it hasn’t really worked out so far.

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It is very clear he is nowhere near the same player that played for Chelsea, and so far, he has more red cards than he has goals.

That said, Costa’s link-up play with those around him does look quite good. He just hasn’t been the clinical player Wolves have really needed him to be.

GRADE – C