Wolverhampton Wanderers Training Session
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West Ham defeat proved how vital Semedo and Ait-Nouri have become for Wolves

Wolves were beaten 1-0 by West Ham United in the Premier League yesterday, and the social media inquest into the defeat is in full flow.

Wanderers could have gone above their opponents in the Premier League table and into sixth.

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But Bruno Lage’s side wilted in London for the second time in three days.

It was a great opportunity to respond following the defeat in the last minute to Arsenal.

But it was a poor performance all round, with Wolves again lacking that cutting edge in the final third.

Chances were created but ultimately, there was only one shot on target for the visitors in the game.

It was particularly frustrating to see how offensively anonymous the two wing-backs were.

Lage had brought in Ki-Jana Hoever for the injured Nelson Semedo. And Fernando Marcal started over Rayan Ait-Nouri.

Photo by Jack Thomas – WWFC/Wolves via Getty Images

Semedo obviously couldn’t feature, and perhaps Ait-Nouri had been struggling with a bit of fatigue.

But those two players not playing really hurt Wolves.

Hoever and Marcal are not nearly as attack-minded as them, and Francisco Trincao and Hwang Hee-chan did not have particularly good support from them.

Undoubtedly, the game showed how vital Semedo and Ait-Nouri are for Wolves nowadays.

Semedo and Ait-Nouri give Wolves a much-needed outlet

Both Semedo (£29 million) and Ait-Nouri (£10 million) love to drive forwards and lend their support in the attacking third. Given Wolves’ goalscoring issues, it’s vital for Lage to have these kind of wing-backs.

Having wing-backs high and wide can help create overloads which can be a nightmare to deal with for the opponent.

Photo by Jack Thomas – WWFC/Wolves via Getty Images

Ait-Nouri got three assists in January, and Semedo assisted against Brentford and also scored a goal against Sheffield United.

They were both in great form, and the Wolves starting XI missed them on Sunday.

They have both set a high bar, and Hoever and Marcal just didn’t cut it in their absences.