Ki-Jana Hoever put in a performance yesterday that should seriously encourage his Wolverhampton Wanderers manager to play him against Leicester City.
The right-back played in Wolves’ 1-0 defeat to Celta Vigo yesterday. Despite the loss, Hoever was instrumental in the team’s attacking play.
This might encourage new Wolves boss, Bruno Lage, to include Hoever in the starting lineup next week.
Although Hoever faces stiff competition from Semedo, he did his chances no harm against top-tier opposition.
Hoever was very impressiveEmbed from Getty Images
Wolves may have lost to Celta, but they were very exciting in the second-half.
They were only denied by last-gasp clearances and the post to stop them from equalising.
However, it is preseason and this friendly gave the flying Dutchman invaluable minutes.
He was a consistent threat down the right-wing, linking up effectively with wingers Francisco Trincao and Adama Traore playing one-twos to get behind the Celta defence.
His link-up with striker Raul Jimenez was even more impressive. His long-range passes regularly found the Mexican and allowed Wolves to counter.
A rare trait for a right-back, Ki-Jana Hoever added to what has been an excellent pre-season for him.
Lage has food for thought
The one obvious problem Hoever has is displacing Nelson Semedo.
However, if Lage is to select players based solely on form, then Hoever should be a frontrunner.
In addition to yesterday’s performance, he scored a wonderful volley against Las Palmas last week.
Hoever can also offer his versatility.
Capable of playing across the entire defence, his passing range may encourage the ex-Benfica boss to deploy him elsewhere.
The only concern will be whether he can replicate the high-level performances shown in pre-season.
Encouragingly for the 19-year-old defender, Lage has stressed that he wants two quality players for each position.
Following yesterday performance at the very least it will reassure the coach of Hoever’s quality, if it had not already.