Wolverhampton Wanderers v Leicester City - Premier League
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Daniel Podence has become crucial for Wolves after increased game time of late

Wolves may have lost Adama Traore in January, but there is still a player at Molineux capable of making things happen.

Daniel Podence has been featuring quite a lot recently for Wanderers.

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Prior to Sunday’s game with West Ham United, the 26-year-old had started 11 consecutive games for the club.

Since his arrival in January 2020, that is the former Olympiacos star’s best run at Molineux.

Across those 11 games, was really at the forefront of everything good Wolves did.

He grabbed himself a couple of goals against Sheffield United in the FA Cup, and also bagged the winning goal in the 2-1 victory over Leicester City.

And generally, he has been the man pulling the strings and trying to be direct.

He may sometimes give the ball away, but Wolves won’t get anywhere if risks are not taken.

Photo by Jack Thomas – WWFC/Wolves via Getty Images

It was interesting to note how Wolves struggled in the final third without Podence from the start against West Ham on Sunday.

Perhaps it was necessary for him to be rotated after he’d played against Arsenal just days before.

But Wolves really lacked a spark, and Fabio Silva was really isolated at times.

Arguably, the result and performance showed just how important Podence has become for Wolves, especially with Traore now out of the picture.

Daniel Podence has benefitted from extended stint in Wolves starting XI

Going into this season, Podence had a lot to prove. There was actually a bit of talk about him potentially leaving (talkSPORT).

During his time at Molineux he has shown flashes of his quality, but has always lacked real consistency.

Perhaps that was down to him not being allowed to stay in the starting XI to build momentum. Injuries have also not helped.

Photo by Jack Thomas – WWFC/Wolves via Getty Images

But towards the end of 2021, Wolves had both Pedro Neto and Hwang Hee-chan sidelined with injury. And Traore would then leave a few weeks later.

That meant there was a great chance for Podence to shine. And his performances have definitely gotten a lot better since the turn of the year.

Hopefully he’ll be in the starting XI against Crystal Palace, and the £60,000-a-week star can continue his superb recent form.