Last night, a claim was made that Nelson Semedo is facing up to two months on the sidelines for Wolves.
The wing-back picked up a hamstring injury against Arsenal, and is now looking at a fairly lengthy spell on the sidelines.
Bruno Lage will likely comment on the 28-year-old today at his press conference to verify the claim.
Semedo being out for weeks is a really big blow to Wolves’ European football hopes.
He had been enjoying a tremendous season, and had started 23 of Wolves’ 26 Premier League games so far.
He is going to be a big miss, and it’s up to others now to step up.
And arguably, Rayan Ait-Nouri has potentially now just because one of Wolves’ most important players.
Semedo is probably the most attack-minded defender at the club. It is in his nature to bomb forwards to try and overlap the forward that’s in front of him.
He really suits the role of wing-back, and crops up in some very dangerous positions.
Wolves no longer have an attacking outlet on the right side.
Ki-Jana Hoever can get forward, but he isn’t nearly as offensive as Semedo. The Dutchman isn’t as quick, and obviously isn’t as experienced.
Then there’s Jonny Castro Otto. The Spaniard has been a really reliable performer for Wolves since his arrival at the club.
But he’s just come back from a second serious knee injury. And he’s more of an all-rounder rather than an attack-minded wing-back.
This is why £10 million star Ait-Nouri is now vital for Lage.
Rayan Ait-Nouri is now Wolves’ only attacking wing-back
If Semedo is going to be on the sidelines for weeks, it is now essential that Ait-Nouri starts every game he can.
Whoever plays on that right side isn’t going to be getting forward as often or as quickly as Semedo.
But over on the left side, Ait-Nouri does venture forward a lot like the Portugal international. And he’s fast and direct.
Wanderers can’t be having repeats of the performance against West Ham, which featured Hoever and Fernando Marcal as the wing-backs, both of whom were offensively anonymous.
There needs to be a focus on getting the ball out to the left side, where Ait-Nouri can do some damage in those high and wide positions.
The loss of Semedo is significant, but Ait-Nouri has the potential to ease the blow.