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Wolves chairman Jeff Shi explains reasoning behind Matt Doherty sale

Wolverhampton Wanderers chairman Jeff Shi has been discussing the club’s decision to sell Matt Doherty last year.

The Republic of Ireland international was one of two high-profile departures in the 2020 summer transfer window, the other being Diogo Jota.

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The star headed to Tottenham Hotspur in a deal that was reportedly worth around £15 million (Independent).

Wolves then went out and signed Nelson Semedo, who has split opinion in his first season with the club.

The sale of Doherty raised a few eyebrows at the time.

He was a brilliant fit for the wing-backs system, and if Semedo has been an upgrade, then it hasn’t really been by much.

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Speaking about the decision to sell Doherty, Shi said (Ask Wolves Q&A part 1): “I do think Matt is the kind of player suiting a style.

“At that time, the team, or the head coach, wanted to change the style a bit. So for a certain team, Matt can do a very good job, but if you want to change to maybe a more possession-based team, I think we need to maybe have a different profile of player, so that’s one of the reasons.

“And, also, I do believe Matt himself wanted to move because he has been here for ten years, so I think it’s the right moment to move to a new club, to challenge himself again. So it’s a good deal.”

Doherty sale makes sense

Clearly the intention at Wolves is to get the team to become more possession-based and less defensive/counter-attacking.

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We saw throughout 2020/21 Nuno Espirito Santo set up with a back four, and we’ve seen Doherty struggle to play as a traditional right-back at Tottenham.

It seems Wolves just want to go in a direction that doesn’t suit Doherty, and it was best to cash in when they did.