Matt Doherty started for Tottenham Hotspur in the Carabao Cup last night, amid recent speculation linking him with a return to Wolves.
The Republic of Ireland international was deployed at left wing-back against Chelsea by Antonio Conte. The north London side were playing the second leg of their semi-final against Chelsea.
Emerson Royal was a right wing-back.
Doherty is not a regular starter for Spurs, and so this was a chance for him to stake a claim.
But unfortunately for him, he did not make the most of his rare opportunity.
Doherty seemed uncomfortable operating on the left side.
The London Evening Standard gave him a measly 4/10 for his performance, stating: “Offered no threat down the left flank, frequently cutting inside on his right foot and slowing down attacks. Having struggled at Stamford Bridge, his selection again was strange.”
That was the joint-lowest rating of any player. He was substituted on 65 minutes and replaced by Ryan Sessegnon.
Doherty completed just 13 successful passes, and had just 22 touches. That was two fewer than Spurs goalkeeper Pierluigi Gollini (Sofascore).
If Doherty was hoping to seal a move back to Wolves this month, then performances like last night won’t help his cause.
The Daily Mail recently reported that Spurs are willing to use Doherty as makeweight in any potential deal to land Adama Traore.
At the same time, there has been talk that Atletico Madrid are keen to sign Nelson Semedo. They have just sold Kieran Trippier to Newcastle, of course.
On the evidence of last night, Wolves should not be looking to reunite with the 29-year-old.
Wolves should take hard pass on re-signing Matt Doherty
Last night was a big chance for Doherty against a top side.
But he didn’t take his chance, struggling to operate down that left side.
Playing out of position won’t have helped. But Doherty has also failed to make an impact at right wing-back for Spurs since his transfer in 2020.
Simply put, Wolves are far better off with Nelson Semedo as the regular right wing-back at Molineux. And Ki-Jana Hoever his understudy.