Wolves signing this £35m African star would be a total waste of money and Nuno Santo must avoid this

Wolves opinion: Signing Jean-Philippe Gbamin would make little sense

According to Birmingham Live, Wolves have been credited with an interest in Mainz midfielder Jean-Philippe Gbamin in the ongoing summer transfer window, with manager Nuno Espirito Santo looking to add more depth and quality to his ranks in order to cope with the challenge of playing in the Europa League.

Wolves are not the only Premier League club to have registered an interest in the Ivory Coast international, with Birmingham Live claiming that Gbamin is also on the radar of heavyweights Arsenal, Liverpool and Spurs

As per claims from German publication Bild, Gbamin is likely to be available for around £35million this summer, and Mainz Sporting Director Rouven Schröder is happy to let the 23-year-old depart should a suitable offer be put on the table. 

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Gbamin, who represented Ivory Coast in the recently-concluded 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt this summer, was one of Mainz’s key players in the Bundesliga the last term. In fact, he has been one of the mainstays of the club’s midfield ever since his arrival from French side Lens in the summer of 2016. 

The 23-year-old made a total of 31 league appearances this past season and contributed with 2 goals and an assist to guide Mainz to a respectable 12th-place finish in the Bundesliga, featuring in a variety of central midfield roles, as well as at the heart of the defence as a makeshift centre-back. 

However, Gbamin might as well earn a coveted move to the Premier League this summer after proving his worth as a versatile and utility defensive midfielder in the Bundesliga over the past three seasons, having accumulated a total of 3 goals and 4 assists in 95 appearances across all competitions for Mainz. 

Meanwhile, Wolves are yet to bag any significant scalps in the transfer window this summer following a season of resounding success in the Premier League, which is quite a sensible ploy after some heavy spending over the past 12 months.

That, however, might change, as push comes to shove with the deadline in August looming large. 

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The fans at Molineux are looking forward to some much-awaited Europa League action, with the Black Country outfit set to kick start their qualifying campaign against Irish side Crusaders. 

To put things into perspective, Wolves looked like a well-oiled machine in the Premier League the last term but they would certainly need to make a few more additions to reach greater heights next season and cope with the pressure of having to play in European competitions.

The fans have every reason to be excited about the club’s links with Jean-Philippe Gbamin, given that he is one of the burgeoning young talents in the Bundesliga, but the main question is- Do Wolves really need to spend big on a defensive midfielder? And, would he be a massive upgrade on their existing options?

Well, it doesn’t require a rocket scientist to answer the first part of the question, whilst the second part certainly appears to be more debatable.

Wolves are already well-stocked in their central midfield options, with the likes of Ruben Neves, Joao Moutinho, Leander Dendoncker and Romain Saiss all in the ranks at Molineux, meaning that there are already four players competing for two spots in the midfield. 

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Wolves interest in Gbamin probably stems from Moutinho’s advancing years but even if Nuno Santo wants to release the pressure on him next term by allowing him less playtime, the manager would still have the likes of Saiss and Dendoncker at his disposal to choose from. 

While Moutinho proved himself to be one of the biggest bargains in the Premier League last season and Neves stole the show on numerous occasions with his sublime moments of magic, Dendoncker and Saiss both did an admirable job when called upon by the manager. 

As a matter of fact, Saiss even filled in at centre-back in the absence of Willy Boly and Ryan Bennett, playing the same role that Gbamin so often does for Mainz. 

Hence, it is pretty clear that Gbamin, despite being his obvious talent and versatility, would not add anything extra to what Wolves already have, so spending that kind of money on the 23-year-old would only increase Nuno’s selection dilemma in a negative way. 

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Keeping that in mind, Wolves would be better off investing in other areas of the squad, as the Black Country outfit prepare to capitalise on their impressive campaign last time around and strive to reach greater heights in the days to come. 

Written by Sayan Chatterjee

A Premier League enthusiast and an avid follower of the beautiful game... keen eye for tactical battles and love to discuss the financial aspects of football...other hobbies include reading, listening to music, playing FIFA on PlayStation, traveling, etc.
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