Loan spells can be hit or miss, and sadly in the case of Wolves striker Patrick Cutrone, his latest stint with Empoli has been a real disappointment.
The Italian is spending the season back in his homeland with the Serie A outfit.
He joined the club after having a tough time last season.
Cutrone began the 2020/21 campaign on loan at Fiorentina, where he had been since the previous season.
But a lack of game time saw Wolves recall him in January. He spent a couple of weeks back at Molineux, before the club moved to sign Willian Jose on loan.
Wanderers then sent Cutrone to Valencia, where he again struggled for minutes.
2021/22 had the potential to be a clean slate for Cutrone, and a move to Empoli was organised last summer.
But we were now approaching the end of March, and Cutrone has managed just two goals for the club so far.
His last came against Napoli back in December, meaning he hasn’t found the net yet in 2022.
And just lately, his game time has been suffering. He has been left on the bench for four of the last six Serie A matches by manager Aurelio Andreazzoli.
Wolves officials may have been hoping to see him enjoy a season like Rafa Mir did last term with SD Huesca.
The Spaniard thrived in his homeland, scoring 16 goals across all competitions.
That helped the club sell him in the summer for £13.7 million (The Athletic). That was a great fee to receive given he only had a year left on his contract.
Cutrone will only have a year left on his contract this summer. And it’s looking very unlikely Wolves would get a similar fee for the Italian.
Wolves face making a big loss on Patrick Cutrone
Sadly it just hasn’t worked out for Cutrone at Empoli.
After failed stints at Fiorentina and Valencia, it is looking like the player could be moved on in the summer. And, realistically, for not much money.
He signed for the club for £16 million back in 2018 (BBC Sport), and there were really high hopes for him.
But he has really struggled since making that move. Barring a huge turnaround over the next couple of months, Wolves will surely have to take a big financial hit on the player.
It is difficult to see him coming back to Molineux and becoming a part of the first-team squad given his form this term.