Wolves will come face-to-face with old transfer target Joao Palhinha on Friday, he's thrived for Fulham
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Wolves will come face-to-face with old transfer target Joao Palhinha on Friday, he's thrived for Fulham

Wolves are taking on Fulham on Friday and it’s another huge game in the Premier League – and there will be a chance for Wanderers fans to catch former transfer target Joao Palhinha in action.

Saturday’s defeat to Bournemouth has dragged Wanderers back into the scrap, and Julen Lopetegui will be looking for a response.

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Fulham will potentially be a very tough game.

The Cottagers are having a very good season and are currently sitting sixth in the table.

They are just four points off the top four and are dreaming of European football in some form come the end of the season.

They are pretty much where Wolves want and need to be.

And someone who has really helped Fulham get to where they are is Palhinha – a player Wolves were strongly linked with in the summer.

Wolves were apparently in pole position to sign the star at one stage.

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But in the end Wanderers opted against it and Fulham came in and snapped him up from Sporting CP for £20 million.

And arguably, Palhinha has been one of the Premier League signings of the season for far.

Official Premier League statistics show that he currently tops the category for tackles made, with 98.

He’s way clear of Tyler Adams of Leeds United in second (81). And Pascal Struijk is third with 63.

Palhinha has brought real steel to Fulham’s engine room, and it’s going to be very interesting watching his performance in particular on Friday.

He did play in the reverse fixture back in August. But he’s now got a proper feel for the Premier League and his display will make for compelling viewing.

It does look as though Wolves missed out on a top-class player in Palhinha.

Ultimately though, it was the club’s decision not to press ahead with his signing.

According to the Express & Star, Wolves were offered the chance to get him and would have beaten Fulham to the Portuguese enforcer. But the hierarchy said no.

Potentially, that was down to the fact that Palhinha has a similar profile to Ruben Neves.

The fact Neves wasn’t leaving perhaps played a part in the decision.

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In the end, Wolves spent bigger on another player from Sporting in Matheus Nunes, who was more what was needed at the time.

It’s just a shame Palhinha didn’t stay at Sporting.

Potentially, Wolves might have fancied signing him this summer if Neves left, which is something a lot of people are expecting to happen.