Portugal v Spain: Group B - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia


Nacho Fernandez is the one player Wolves simply must sign in January

The January transfer window is almost upon us, and Wolves have been linked with a whole host of players in recent weeks.

Club football has taken a back seat for the past month to allow for the World Cup. But that definitely has not stopped the transfer rumours flying about.

Wolves need to strengthen next month, no question.

Photo by Isaac Parkin – WWFC/Wolves via Getty Images

While Wolves have a lot of talented players on their books, there is a lack of experience in the dressing room and also a lack of leadership.

In hindsight, Wanderers offloaded too many of their big characters.

The likes of Conor Coady, Romain Saiss and Willy Boly all had big personalities, and were brilliant for the dressing room, as well as being good players.

That is why Julen Lopetegui simply must rectify this problem next month, and there is one man he should make an absolute priority.

Nacho Fernandez is a player he knows well. He briefly worked with him at Real Madrid, but also the Spanish national team.

Fernandez is into the final year of his contract at the Bernabeu, and Real may let him go next month for the right price.

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Fernandez has been with Real his whole career, and made 286 appearances for the club to date.

He has never been a regular starter for the Spanish heavyweights. But he is absolutely adored at the club for his loyalty and professionalism.

He has never kicked up a fuss about his role, coming into the starting XI as and when required and performing to the highest standard.

It’s been felt that Fernandez could easily have left Real to join another club in Europe and be a nailed on starter.

But that’s not an avenue he’s wanted to go down, and staying at Real has allowed him to win it all. Fernandez has won 19 trophies so far as a first-teamer at the Bernabeu, including five Champions Leagues.

But he may now feel, as his career enters its latter stages, that it’s time for a change – and Wolves should be all over him.

Nacho Fernandez must be Julen Lopetegui’s number one priority for Wolves in January

Fernandez is a leader. He has worn the captain’s armband for Real many times previously.

He is also extremely versatile and dependable. You can stick him anywhere in defence and he will do a good job.

When you think about Real Madrid’s success over the last 10 years or so, you instantly think about the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema, Gareth Bale, Sergio Ramos, Luka Modric, Casemiro and Toni Kroos.

But players like Nacho have also been absolutely key along the way.

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He’s never been a headline grabber. But there is no doubt he has made significant contributions for that club.

Wolves need a central defender with vast experience under his belt. Reports have suggested there is some interest in him.

As much as the scoring of goals has been an issue at Molineux, the defending and lack of leadership this season has been worrying. And Fernandez might just be an extremely sensible signing, and it would not break the bank.