It has been a little over two years since Wolverhampton Wanderers completed an eyebrow-raising £5 million transfer for Joao Moutinho (BBC Sport).
‘Why is this man being allowed to leave AS Monaco so cheap?’ ‘Are his legs going at the age of 31?’ These were just some of the questions being asked.
But those reservations were dispelled quicker than Adama Traore over 100 metres.
It’s fair to say the little Portuguese magician has made a total mockery of his transfer fee, with his Rolls Royce-like ways evident week after week at Molineux.
The star strolls around dictating play better than half the Premier League’s central midfielders who cost about three times the price.
Short passes, long passes; the way he caresses the ball to his teammates from anywhere on the pitch is simply a delight.
The Wolves star hasn’t just been a dictator of play though – he has the assists to boot. In total, he has 21 for the club in 101 games in all competitions, which is fairly impressive when you compare that to Ruben Neves, who has just eight in 136 appearances.
101 games played is an impressive feat in itself. Few would have predicted the man would have been so ever-present after his arrival, being in his thirties, but his fitness levels are evidently excellent.
So impressive have Moutinho’s contributions been, that Wolves gleefully handed him a contract extension last November, meaning he will be in the Black Country until the summer of 2022 at least.
A couple of months before that announcement, Moutinho had declared he felt good enough to play for the next five years – and you’ll be hard-pressed to find a Wolves fan that doesn’t hope that period will be at Molineux (Express & Star).
One of the Premier League’s best bargains?
Moutinho has enjoyed a glorious couple of years with Wolves.
He surely has to be in the conversation as being one of the best bargain signings made by a Premier League club.
Maybe he will need some sort of silverware in order to boost his credentials in the eyes of neutrals. However, in terms of pure footballing ability for the peanuts he was signed, Moutinho is right up there with the likes of N’Golo Kante and Patrick Vieira.