Wolves lost 1-0 to Bournemouth yesterday – and it was not a particularly good day for Matheus Nunes.
The midfielder started alongside Ruben Neves and Joao Moutinho.
He was back in a central role, with him and Neves slightly deeper and Moutinho getting up to support the attack.
Unfortunately, Nunes had an afternoon to forget despite returning to a more natural role.
The 24-year-old was surprisingly wasteful in possession. He attempted a number of long passes and overhit them. Adama Traore dealt with one of them fantastically well to his credit.
Sofascore data indicates his pass accuracy was 78%, which was the lowest of all Wolves player that started the game. Just two of his five attempted long passes were succesful.
There were moments Nunes was allowed to ghost into the penalty area.
But he could never quite make space to get off a clear shot.
It should have been a game for Nunes to really dominate. But it was error-strewn and underwhelming.
And it could be that Julen Lopetegui now strongly considers dropping him to the bench for the next game against Fulham on Friday.
Mario Lemina will be available for selection again after serving his one-game suspension.
Arguably his bite and tenacity was missed against the Cherries, and Lopetegui is probably keen to get him back him.
It remains to be seen whether it will be at the expense of Nunes.
Matheus Nunes needs to step up and find the form he was showing in January
In late December, Nunes admitted he hadn’t really shown enough for Wolves before the World Cup.
In the few games following his comments, he was really good. His performance in the defeat to Manchester United was perhaps his best for the club.
Just lately though, Nunes’ form has dipped slightly.
Against Bournemouth he looked a bit out of sorts.
It will be interesting to see if Lopetegui sticks by the £38 million star for the game with Fulham.
When he’s bang at it, Nunes has the potential to be Wolves’ best player. It just isn’t really happening for him at the moment, and he might even benefit from being put on the bench for a game.
Sometimes, players need that to avoid complacency creeping in and sharpen focus.