Wolves may have lost to Liverpool in a cruel way on Saturday – but the performance of Rayan Ait-Nouri was certainly a positive to take.
The Frenchman was starting his ninth game of the season at Molineux.
Ait-Nouri came into the team when Fernando Marcal got injured in October.
His first start against Leeds United was encouraging, and he also impressed in the wins against Everton and West Ham United.
But on Saturday, Ait-Nouri put in a truly inspiring performance.
It was not going to be easy for the young Frenchman.
Liverpool probably have the scariest right side in the league with Mo Salah on the wing and Trent Alexander-Arnold providing support just behind.
But Ait-Nouri was absolutely superb, keeping the threat of the Egyptian to a minimum. In the end, Salah did provide an assist for Origi’s winner, but only after Ait-Nouri had gone off injured.
The club tweeted out some statistics on Ait-Nouri from Saturday, and he won 11/12 duels and 8/8 tackles.
Liverpool were always going to ask questions of him defensively, but he answered them all and arguably put in his finest showing to date.
Liverpool display showed Rayan Ait-Nouri has come on leaps and bounds defensively for Wolves
It was actually remarkable watching Ait-Nouri on Saturday against two world-class players.
The £10 million star was absolutely solid.
He has clearly been working very hard on the defensive side of his game.
Last term Ait-Nouri caught people’s attention for being lively going forwards. But some questioned his ability to defend.
Saturday was truly a measure of how far Ait-Nouri has come with his defending.
Hopefully, he can continue to develop that side of his game. Wolves could have one hell of a player on their hands if he continues like this.