3 Wolves players that have points to prove to Julen Lopetegui
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3 Wolves players that have points to prove to Julen Lopetegui

The work has now started for Julen Lopetegui at Wolves.

A new era has finally commenced at Molineux, with the Spaniard taking his first press conference yesterday.

Lopetegui carried himself very well in front of reporters, and fans have liked what they have seen so far.

Photo by Jack Thomas – WWFC/Wolves via Getty Images

He’s got a lot of work to do and problems to address. But the general consensus is that Lopetegui has the pedigree to sort this mess out, turning things around and get Wolves back to where they need to be.

Hopefully there will be a big improvement in the players going forwards.

Many have underperformed so far this season, and some do have points to prove to the new manager.

Here are three players who’ll perhaps be looking to make a big impression…

Hwang Hee-chan

Hwang has endured a really tough 2022 at Wolves.

He made an absolutely electric start when he first came to the club on loan from RB Leipzig, scoring four goals in his first seven appearances.

But his form then dipped, and he did suffer a hamstring injury last December which sidelined him for a couple of months.

He only scored one more goal for the club against Arsenal in February, which remains his last in Wolves colours.

Photo by Jack Thomas – WWFC/Wolves via Getty Images

Hwang has come in for criticism from some supporters for his form, although earlier in the season he did get a nice show of support when he came on against Southampton in September.

Hwang’s alarming lack of goals this calendar year has seen him drop down the pecking order.

But the star will now go to the World Cup with South Korea. Upon returning, he’ll hope to prove a point to new boss Lopetegui.

Rayan Ait-Nouri

Ait-Nouri is one of Wolves’ biggest prospects.

He has huge potential, and has put in some fantastic displays in Wolves colours since coming to the club.

But he has also dropped some really poor ones, which have been a reminder of his tender years.

Ait-Nouri is very much a rough diamond. But he’s definitely going to be a top player in the future.

Just at the moment though, Ait-Nouri is behind Hugo Bueno in the pecking order at Molineux. The Spaniard broke into the starting XI last month, and has been superb since.

Photo by Jack Thomas – WWFC/Wolves via Getty Images

This new and unexpected competition for Ait-Nouri is healthy, and he will no doubt be looking to try and reclaim his starting berth.

After the World Cup, he will be trying to prove to Lopetegui that he should be the number one left-back. His performance against Leeds United in the Carabao Cup last week was very impressive.

Jonny Castro Otto

Jonny’s form this season has been a real concern.

The 28-year-old has suffered two serious knee injuries since joining the club and just of late, it’s looked as though they have caught up with him.

The £15 million signing has been way below par this term, and just doesn’t appear to be as mobile or athletic as he once was.

Jonny was once able to consistently drop 7/10 performances at least. He was somewhat like Cesar Azpilicueta of Chelsea before his injury problems.

Former manager Bruno Lage branded him ‘a solid professional’ back in April this year when he returned from his second knee injury.

Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images

But now, solid outings are few and far between for Jonny, who has sadly looked a shadow of his former self in 2022/23.

But maybe the arrival of his fellow countryman Lopetegui is what he needs.

He arguably has a huge point to prove to the new manager that he is still a top, reliable player. That he is not someone who is on the decline, just in poor form.