Wolves fans may have had cause to notice Sporting Lisbon’s impressive 4-0 win in the Champions League last night against Besiktas.
Fomer Wolves player Pedro Goncalves scored the first two goals for the Portuguese giants, and it was yet another imperious display by their midfield talisman Joao Palhinha.
Wolves loanee Ruben Vinagre also came off the bench for the last 20 minutes, when Ruben Amorim’s side were four goals to the good against the Turkish side.
The Portuguese international Palhinha was linked with a £34m summer switch to Molineux, but the move never materialised.
That valuation would present a big money move and would be a similar price to what the club paid to bring Fabio Silva and Raul Jimenez to the Black Country.
There is no denying the outlay on the Mexican has been money, very much well spent, but it’s too early to give a verdict on Silva’s time in the old gold, as he is still only a teenager and is still very raw.
But at the age of 26 and with nine international caps under his belt for Portugal, Palhinha is entering the prime of his career and would bring an injection of quality to bolster Bruno Lage’s midfield options.
Another impressive performance from Palhinha
In last night’s Champions League Group C clash at the Estadio Jose Alvalade, nobody made more tackles than Palhinha (5).
He finished the game with 68 touches and completed 46 of his attempted 51 passes (90%). He completed all five of his attempted long-balls and both of his attempted dribbles.
He won seven ground duels and three aerial duels. Sporting’s number six also made two clearances, two interceptions and blocked one shot.
The midfielder currently averages the highest amount of tackles per game (4) in the Portuguese top-flight (WhoScored).
He is man with big pedigree and bringing him to Molineux would be a massive coup and a huge statement of intent.
In the summer of 2018, Wolves took the decision to allow young midfielder Goncalves to leave the club and join Farmalicao.
But the talented Portuguese winger wasn’t given a chance under Nuno Espirito Santo and it looks like we have missed out on a real gem.
After finishing last season as the top scorer in Portugal’s Liga Nos with 23 goals, he already has six goals to his name across all competitions this time around.
His brace against Besiktas last night were his first goals in the Champions League as his stock continues to rise across Europe.
His amazing development has already seen him become linked with a big-money (£53 million release clause) move back to England (Mirror).
If it was Lage back in charge in 2018, then Goncalves may have seen a route into the first team, or may have been given several first team chances to prove himself, not just a solitary cameo Carabao Cup appearance that he had under Bruno.
Both Goncalves and Palhinha would be quality signings for Wolves, but maybe we are being a tad greedy, but that doesn’t stop you from thinking what if!