There is a lot of excitement about what kind of changes Bruno Lage can bring for Wolverhampton Wanderers.

The 45-year-old has arrived at Molineux with a big reputation.

Stoke City v Wolverhampton Wanderers - Pre-Season Friendly
Bruno Lage (Photo by Jack Thomas – WWFC/Wolves via Getty Images)

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The expectations are that Lage will release the shackles that were in place under Nuno Espirito Santo, and that the players will be more attacking and expressive.

People can’t wait to see the likes of Raul Jimenez, Adama Traore and Pedro Neto under his guidance.

Such individuals could well hit new heights, and are definitely worth getting excited about.

But there is perhaps one other player, that not many people have spoken about, that could absolutely flourish under Lage.

Real Betis v Wolverhampton Wanderers: Pre-Season Friendly
Rayan Ait-Nouri (Photo by Jack Thomas – WWFC/Wolves via Getty Images)

Rayan Ait-Nouri was signed on a permanent deal last month for around £9.5 million. That’s a great fee for a youngster with massive potential, but the less said about that 50% sell-on clause, the better.

Ait-Nouri is clearly an attack-minded full-back.

There’s been a lot of acknowledgment of the way Lage developed Joao Felix at Benfica.


But someone else who really flourished was Alejandro Grimaldo, the left-back.

Lage took charge of Benfica 3 January 2019, with his first game a few days later.

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Alex Grimaldo (Photo by Gualter Fatia/Getty Images)

Grimaldo, attack-minded like Ait-Nouri, assisted in Lage’s very first game against Rio Ave.

It was a sign of things to come, and Grimaldo would go on to make eight more and score two goals. He also got a further goal and assist in the Europa League.

In 2019/20, he would make eight assists in all competitions and score one goal, before Lage departed the club at the end of June 2020.

Ait-Nouri to be Lage’s next Grimaldo?

Lage got the best out of Grimaldo during their time working together, and there’s every chance Ait-Nouri can benefit massively.

Real Betis v Wolverhampton Wanderers - Pre-Season Friendly
Rayan Ait-Nouri (Photo by Fran Santiago/Getty Images)

Arguably, he’s looked like Wolves best player in pre-season so far. He’s at least one of them.

Looking to drive forward at every opportunity, he already looks as though Lage is having an impact on his game.

The Frenchman is definitely one to watch out for this season.

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