Wolves’ Portuguese contingent were knocked out of Euro 2020 by Belgium on Sunday night.
The European Champions being out of the tournament before the end of June probably wasn’t part of the script.
But Portugal’s relatively early exit doesn’t necessarily mean that Rui Patricio, Nelson Semedo, Ruben Neves and Joao Moutinho will all be back for day one of pre-season.
As per the Express and Star, the quartet may still miss the first game of pre-season against Crewe on July 17.
Perhaps that won’t come as a surprise to anyone. It was the most gruelling season last time around and Wolves limped over the line by the end.
Those players went straight from that into a major tournament – it wasn’t ideal preparation.
So it makes sense that they’d get all the rest they need to come back to Wolves refreshed and ready for success under Bruno Lage.
That said, Lage will want to start working with his key players sooner rather than later.
Making the changes between his philosophy and Nuno Espirito Santo’s will require plenty of hard work on the training ground.
That said, Patricio might not be part of the squad next season anyway, amid speculation about a move to Roma.
The period of extended rest may give some younger players the opportunity to impress during pre-season.
And if it means that the Portuguese stars return fresher than they would if they were rushed back, Lage will view that as worthwhile.
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