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Joao Moutinho is on the wane, but statistic shows he's still important for Wolves

Joao Moutinho has had a difficult start to the new season for Wolves.

Ahead of the 2022/23 campaign, some fans felt he would be taking more of a back seat following the acquisitions of Matheus Nunes and Boubacar Traore.

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Moutinho is now 36. He’s still quite fit for his age, but it has been clear that it is starting to catch up with him a bit.

And the decline is exacerbated by the fact that his fellow midfielder Ruben Neves is on an upward trajectory and is pretty much man-of-the match every game for Wolves.

Despite the arrivals of Nunes and Traore, Moutinho has featured fairly heavily for Wolves. He’s made 13 Premier League appearances so far, starting 11 of those.

He’s also made two further appearances in the Carabao Cup.

It has been a surprise to see Moutinho play so much.

Both Bruno Lage and Steve Davis have often preferred to use three midfielders this season, with Moutinho regularly joining Neves and Nunes in the engine room.

Despite Moutinho’s powers beginning to wane though, he is still somewhat important.

According to The Other 14, Moutinho has actually created 20 chances for Wolves in the Premier League so far – 13 from open play and seven from set-piece scenarios. Only Daniel Podence, an attacker, has more (23).

Statistic shows Joao Moutinho still has some influence for Wolves

There’s no doubt that Moutinho has been way below his usual high standards this season.

But to be fair, the same can be said of many other players in Wolves’ squad. Moutinho just sticks out given the fact he is now 36, and his level previously has been so high.

This statistic is actually fairly surprising.

Moutinho may no longer be at the peak of his powers, but this suggests that he still has something to offer for Wolves.

Photo by Jack Thomas – WWFC/Wolves via Getty Images

It remains to be seen what kind of playing role the £100,000-a-week star will have under Lopetegui.

It is difficult to see him fading into the background though.

Unless of course, Lopetegui instructs the Wolves board to add another midfielder in January/