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Phil Neville lauds Leonardo Campana after Wolves loanee hits hat-trick

Phil Neville has heaped praise on Leonardo Campana, who hit a hat-trick for Inter Miami at the weekend.

The 21-year-old came in clutch for David Beckham’s MLS outfit, scoring twice in the first-half and then late on in a 3-2 win for Miami against New England Revolution.

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His first was a fairly simply header as he found himself between a couple of defenders in the box.

His second was a well taken, first-time finish into the roof of the net.

And the winner he hit was probably one of the scruffiest goals he’ll ever score, as the goalkeeper fumbled a cross he really should have held.

It was a great display of poaching from Campana, who has never played for then Wolves first-team.

He pitched up at Molineux in the summer of 2020, signing from the Barcelona youth academy on a three-and-a-half year deal.

The youngster has had loan spells with Farmalicao and Grasshoppers before this stint with Miami.

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After the win over New England, Miami boss Phil Neville spoke glowingly about Campana.

He said (via Birmingham Mail): “It’s his moment. I watched him play for Ecuador in the under-20 World Cup and you can see there’s a player there. You can see by the size of him, the sheer physicality of him, he’s got everything you need in a good old-fashioned centre-forward.

“He’s a young kid, but you think about his goal at Austin, that was a brilliant goal. That’s four goals now. I really like him and he knows that I believe in him.”

Neville went on to praise Campana’s maturity, saying he’s more like a 28-year-old than a 21-year-old.

Campana unlikely to ever feature for Wolves

It is good to see a Wolves player making decisive contributions out on loan.

Neville has really showered praise on the South American after his hat-trick. One wonders if he could potentially have a role to play back at Molineux.

But that is probably unlikely to happen.

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Miami actually hold an option to buy Campana at the end of the season.

Given Neville’s comments, it’s hard to see the club not exercising that option, and Campana therefore never turning out in old gold with the first-team.