Wolverhampton Wanderers manager Nuno Espirito Santo has praised Nelson Semedo, believing the Portuguese wing-back is now stepping up.

The 27-year-old has really caught the eye in 2021 following a fairly indifferent start after his summer move from Barcelona.

Southampton v Wolverhampton Wanderers - Premier League
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He’s largely cut out the defensive lapses he was having in the earlier parts of the season, and is looking very threatening going forwards.

His showings against Southampton and Leeds United were perhaps his best so far, and Nuno is pleased with his progress.

He said (via Express & Star): “For Nelson, it’s been a challenge for him. He’s been committed and done well.

West Ham United v Wolverhampton Wanderers - Premier League
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“He knows every game he’s going to play, he’s going to face a tough opponent which will demand better and more from him.”

The manager is clearly pleased with Semedo’s work, and his comments suggest that he’ll continue as the regular right-sided defender.

It likely means that summer signing Ki-Jana Hoever will have to be patient before he’s afforded a run in the side.

Hoever’s time will come

£27 million star Semedo (BBC Sport) has started all but one Premier League game so far this season, getting 90 minutes on 20 occasions in the competition.

He is clearly a key player for Nuno and it doesn’t appear that his place in the starting XI is under any threat.

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With Jonny Castro Otto returning to play on the left, and Leander Dendoncker currently filling in for Willy Boly as the right-sided defender, it seems clear that £40,000-a-week star Hoever (Spotrac) will have to bide his time before being handed a string of games.

The notion of that might frustrate a few fans given how promising he’s looked when he has played.

But his time will eventually come – he just needs to exercise patience at the moment.

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