Wolverhampton Wanderers v Gillingham - Carabao Cup Fourth Round
Photo by Jack Thomas - WWFC/Wolves via Getty Images

James Collins admits surprise over Wolves youngster Hugo Bueno

Wolves U21s manager James Collins has admitted he did not expect Hugo Bueno to be a Premier League left-back at this stage of his career.

The Spaniard broke into the first-team starting XI back in October.

Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images

After making his debut against Nottingham Forest, the star then featured from the start against Crystal Palace.

Steve Davis threw him in over Jonny Castro Otto to replace Rayan Ait-Nouri, who was unavailable through illness.

He shone at Selhurst Park, and has started every Premier League game for Wolves since.

Bueno was rewarded with a new contract for his exploits, and was also name Player of the Month for October.

It has been a most impressive rise, but one that has actually taken Collins a bit by surprise.

Collins had worked with Bueno with the U21s, and says the Spaniard has worked extremely hard to get to this point.

Photo by Isaac Parkin – WWFC/Wolves via Getty Images

He told The Athletic: “When I first took him he was a steady left-back.

“If you’d told me he’d be a Premier League left-back a year or so later I’d have doubted that.

“But it showed what hard work does because he’s gone away and improved and improved and by the end of last season he was outstanding for the U21s.”

Hugo Bueno is a shining example for Wolves’ academy players

Bueno had a bit of a tough time for Wolves against Everton on Boxing Day.

It was perhaps the most uncomfortable he was looked so far.

With Ait-Nouri coming on and shining, it could be that his run of Premier League starts comes to an end against Manchester United.

But even if that happens, Bueno’s exploits over the past couple of months have been hugely impressive.

Photo by Jack Thomas – WWFC/Wolves via Getty Images

It’s brilliant to see a young player come in an seize his opportunity.

Collins’ comments are very interesting. That Bueno has surprised him with his rise to becoming a Premier League player just sets a brilliant example to Wolves’ other academy players.

You may not feel particularly close to making it in the first-team. But working as hard as Bueno might just land you there eventually.