Wolverhampton Wanderers v Leeds United - Carabao Cup Third Round
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Wolves may have found their long-term Joao Moutinho replacement in Joe Hodge

Wolves are through to the fourth round of the Carabao Cup after beating Leeds United 1-0, and it was another promising performance from youngster Joe Hodge.

Wanderers ground out a morale-boosting victory at Molineux, with Boubacar Traore grabbing his first goal for the club.

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The midfielder scored from the edge of the box with a shot Ruben Neves would have been proud of.

Boubacar came on as a substitute in the second-half to replenish a midfield that had done well in the game.

Hodge, in particular, put in a really good display in the engine room alongside Connor Ronan, who was also solid.

It was only Hodge’s fourth first-team appearance for the club.

He made his debut last month against Chelsea, and then came on in games against Nottingham Forest and Crystal Palace.

But last night was his first start for the club – and he absolutely vindicated Steve Davis’ decision.

Hodge plugged away and was tidy on the ball, completing 39/50 passes (Sofascore).

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The youngster showed a steely side too, winning the ball back several times for his team.

Hodge has worked extremely hard to put himself in this position, having suffered some bad injuries. But it’s clear he is relishing being back out there, and his talents are undeniable.

Watching him play, it’s difficult not to think about how Wolves might just have a long-term Joao Moutinho replacement on their hands.

Joe Hodge has a long way to go for Wolves, but there Joao Moutinho similarities

Hodge still has a long road ahead of him to become a regular first-teamer at Wolves. But he’s made a brilliant start since making his debut.

Credit must go to Steve Davis and James Collins for putting their faith in him.

Next year, it could be that Moutinho moves on from Wolves. He will be out of contract, and Wanderers do need to think about long-term replacements now.

There will obviously be officials scouring the transfer market for potential replacements.

But Hodge has the potential to take over the Portuguese veteran’s mantle himself.

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You can tell Hodge developed at Manchester City’s academy. He is technically really strong, and is constantly scanning to work out his next play.

And he has a tenacious side too, just like Moutinho.

Physically he is similar to the former AS Monaco star and with his work ethic, there’s no reason why he can’t eventually step into his shoes at Molineux.