Man-mountain Ivorian, Willy Boly, will be missing from our defence for an extended period of time with an ankle injury.
This makes the performances of our Portuguese shot-stopper even more essential. After signing on a bargain deal last Summer, the keeper has more than repaid his fee in huge, vital saves. Rui Patricio might just be a top-six keeper in the Premier League.
Improvement on Ruddy:
Whilst praise must go to John Ruddy for his performances in the Championship promotion season (I’ll never forget Cardiff away), Patricio is a big step-up. The performance of Ruddy on Wednesday night at Villa Park reaffirmed this for Wolves fans.
Although he cannot be blamed for the loss overall, as Wolves’ youngsters were clearly overmatched, it could be argued that Ruddy should’ve done better with both goals. These were saves you would expect the Portuguese number one to make.
A constant knock on Patricio last season was that his passing wasn’t up to scratch, completing just 54% of his passes. However, Rui has got this up to 57.2% so far this season– a notable increase. Patricio won’t be matching the numbers of modern keepers like Ederson- who has an incredible 89.5% pass completion so far. But compared to keepers such as West Ham’s Fabianski (47.4%), and Ramsdale for Bournemouth (55.3%) Patricio is a notch above. However, it is not the passing of Rui Patricio which makes him a top-six keeper. It’s his saves.
This season already, the Portuguese has made countless important saves that have kept us in games we maybe should’ve lost. Against Palace, Rui denied Benteke and Schlupp late on at 1-0 down before Jota’s last-second equaliser.
He also saved Pogba’s penalty with a strong right hand to keep it 1-1 against United. In the 2-1 win in Bratislava, he came up huge on two occasions to deny Šporar. Also, against Watford, Patricio made an immense double-save to stop Cleverley and Holebas, before later stopping Welbeck’s curled shot.
Now that Boly is out, Wolves will be relying on a make-shift defence over the next few weeks. Players such as Max Kilman and Jesus Vallejo may be getting Premier League minutes. Luckily for Wolves though, Rui Patricio is a top-six keeper in the Premier League.