Rayan Ait-Nouri was a surprise inclusion in Wolves’ side against Leeds on Saturday.

Marcal was left out of the team with an injury that Bruno Lage had not mentioned at his pre-match press conference.

Ait-Nouri performed well, and earned rave reviews from some Wolves fans on Twitter.

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Ki-Jana Hoever, another young full-back, replaced Ait-Nouri late in the second half.

Leeds United v Wolverhampton Wanderers - Premier League
(Sam Bagnall – WWFC/Wolves via Getty Images)

And Lage told the Express and Star that both men are pushing for a start in the weeks ahead.

““We never know when they’ll have the chance but what I want, is when they have the chance, that I feel they are ready. I was happy with them against Tottenham, they did well, and that’s what we want.

“In the same way, we have four wingers, we have those kind of roles in the right and left-back. They are causing a lot of problems for Semedo and Marcal.

 

“For sure, when they go home they dream about them, because they are working hard every day. Against Southampton Ki needed to play two or three minutes and he was ready.

“Every time I want everyone ready to help the team, to start in the first XI or to start from the bench.”

Las Palmas v Wolverhampton Wanderers - Pre-Season Friendly
(Jack Thomas – WWFC/Wolves via Getty Images)

Lage has spoken a few times about the competition for places he wants across the squad.

He believes that will drive up standards. Marcal now knows he will have to work very hard to get his place back because Ait-Nouri was impressive on Saturday.

Hoever started the opening game of the season against Leicester and played 90 minutes, but has played just ten league minutes since, which means he has had to be patient.

Ait-Nouri has also had to wait behind Marcal but grabbed his chance expertly at the weekend and has given Lage a headache ahead of the clash with Everton on Monday night.

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