Julen Lopetegui open to turning to young players at Wolves
Wolverhampton Wanderers v Leeds United - Carabao Cup Third Round
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Julen Lopetegui open to turning to young players at Wolves

Julen Lopetegui has said he will be open to turning to younger players at Wolves – and described Joe Hodge as ‘a good player’.

There haven’t been too many positives so far this season for Wolves.

Results have been very poor, and a lot of players have underperformed.

But in recent weeks, it has been refreshing to see a number of young players turning out for the first-team, which is something Steve Davis deserves great credit for.

Davis integrated Hugo Bueno, who has been one of the star performers in recent weeks.

And Loeptegui has stated that he is open to continuing the current trend. And he also picked out Hodge in particular to make his point.

He said (quoted by the Express & Star): “We have one month to work with them, we are going to take a decision after seeing them.

“But for instance, I have seen in the match against Leeds United, Joe Hodge. He showed he is a good player and of course we are open.

“If we have a good player we are not thinking about the passport or the age.

“We are thinking about the quality and the personality and about the truth in the pitch.”

Young Wolves players will be delighted by Julen Lopetegui’s comments

Lopetegui’s comments will go down well with those young players that are on the fringes of the first-team.

They have perhaps felt a bit of uncertainty, with him coming in after Davis, who showed real faith in the youth.

The message is clear from the new manager: If you are good enough, then you are old enough.

It is now on them to show him what they’re about in training.

Photo by Malcolm Couzens/Getty Images

Hodge is a player that is already firmly on Lopetegui’s radar. Before these comments, the new manager told Hodge to his face on his first day that he thought he played well against Leeds.

It is a big moment for Hodge, especially with the futures of Ruben Neves and Joao Moutinho far from certain.