January is almost upon us, and Wolves are set to lose two players to AFCON – one being Romain Saiss.
He’ll head off with Morocco, while Willy Boly could go with the Ivory Coast.
He only ‘could’ go now, with Bruno Lage having yesterday said that he would miss the rest of 2021 through injury.
But Saiss will depart, and the Moroccan could potentially leave something of a void.
He has his limitations, but on the whole he’s been good this season.
He has certainly made an impression on Bruno Lage, who has started him every Premier League so far.
That left centre-back spot may be good for Max Kilman, but it doesn’t make sense to move him given how well he’s been doing to Conor Coady’s right.
Leander Dendoncker can play in defence, but lacks experience in that particular position – he would normally go to Coady’s right.
So perhaps we could see Fernando Marcal come in to replace Saiss.
The Brazilian recently lost his place in the starting XI at left wing-back to Rayan Ait-Nouri.
The French youngster has been a breath of fresh air, and Marcal can’t really argue with being benched.
Ait-Nouri should be a regular now as he provides Wolves with a big attacking threat.
But perhaps Marcal can still have a part to play when Saiss departs.
Marcal to revisit Lyon role when Saiss leaves for AFCON?
It could be that Lage turns to Marcal when Saiss heads off to AFCON.
During his time at Lyon, the 32-year-old operated as a left-sided centre-back quite often.
The £35,000-a-week star played the role well during their run to the Champions League semi-final, just months before making his move to Molineux.
Playing in that particular position may actually tailor to Marcal’s strengths.
By playing there, he’ll be taking up similar positions to what he’s been used to, but having Ait-Nouri pushing on and creating the width.
Marcal’s not a great attacking outlet, but can be fairly solid defensively.
It is probably something Lage ought to be looking at now in training.