Why Daniel Podence proved against Spurs that Wolves missed a trick
Wolves have been spot on with their player recruitment policy over the past few years, with the club’s relationship with Iberian super-agent Jorge Mendes helping them land some top-quality talents.
Indeed, the presence of ambitious owners coupled with the charismatic stewardship of Nuno Espirito Santo and some excellent business conducted in the transfer windows have brought Wolves back to the mainstream of English football from obscurity in the third-tier.
A few of the recruits like Joao Moutinho, Raul Jimenez, Ruben Neves, Jonny Otto Castro, Rui Patricio and Diogo Jota were instrumental in the club’s 7th-place finish in the Premier League last season and with Wolves set to compete in the Europa League this term, the fans would have hoped for a few more arrivals in the summer transfer window.
Wolves continued their habit of investing in talented Portuguese youngsters this summer and splashed the cash to bring in Pedro Neto and Bruno Jordao from Serie A outfit Lazio.
However, with neither of them managing to make a massive impact in the opening stages of the ongoing campaign and a missed target by the name of Daniel Podence outclassing English opposition in a modest team like Olympiacos in the UEFA Champions League, one cannot help but wonder that Nuno Santo missed a trick this summer.
Despite booking their place in the group stages of the Europa League following a successful play-off campaign, which included a victory over Serie A side Torino in the playoffs, Wolves have endured a traumatic start to their Premier League campaign, with the Black Country outfit yet to win a game.
As per reports from FosOnline, Wolves were interested in signing Daniel Podence, who is represented by agent Jorge Mendes, from Olympiacos in the summer but a move ultimately failed to materialize.
Podence looked like a decent target for Wolves back in the summer after a fruitful 2018-19 season in Greece which saw him accumulate 8 goals and 9 assists. However, when Wolves missed out on him, it didn’t look as if it was going to come back to haunt them.
Well, it’s not quite the same now and Nuno Santo would probably be scratching his head for missing out on Podence, especially after how the Portuguese winger ripped Spurs apart in the 2-2 draw in Greece on Matchday 1 of the UEFA Champions League.
Spurs came into the game as the outright favourites and seemed to be cruising to a comfortable victory with a 2-0 lead by Podence had other ideas.
The diminutive 5ft. 5-inch winger brought the game back to life with a thunderous finish just at the stroke of the interval before Mathieu Valbuena’s penalty in the second half helped Olympiacos earn a 2-2 draw against the Mauricio Pochettino’s side. ‘
Daniel Podence was a constant threat down the flanks and repeatedly caused problems for Spurs’ full-backs with his impeccable close control, quick acceleration and quick feet.
Truth be told, he completely bamboozled last year’s finalists with his dribbling skills and his eye for key passes in the final third kept the defenders on their toes over the entire ninety minutes.
The 23-year-old attempted 37 passes at an accuracy rate of 89.2, a remarkable percentage for an attacking winger, completed 5 dribbles and produced 2 key passes.
Perhaps, the most impressive thing about him was that he never seemed overwhelmed by the quality of the opposition and played his natural game.
In the end, Podence left the stadium with a man-of-the-match performance, enough to prove a point that Wolves made a grave mistake by not signing him earlier in the summer, especially given their Europa League ambitions.
Furthermore, a fast and agile player like him would have been a perfect fit for Nuno Santo’s counter-attacking system after Wolves shipped out Ivan Cavaleiro and Helder Costa on loan.
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Suffice to say, Podence still has his best days ahead of him and Wolves should be wise enough to go back in the market for him after his heroics against Spurs, albeit they might face a lot more competition for his services in the near future if they choose to reignite their interest in him.