Why Wolves need to send Morgan Gibbs-White out on loan in January
As per the report, Thelwell believes the 19-year-old is in the right hands under Nuno Espirito Santo and sending him out on loan isn’t going to be in the best interests of his development, with the Sporting Director making it clear that the starlet is going to be at Molineux to challenge for a regular first-team role.
The 19-year-old, who was one of the architects of England’s triumphant campaign at the 2017 U-17 FIFA World Cup in India, made his senior professional bow for Wolves back in the 2016-17 season and has accumulated a total of 63 appearances in all competitions for his boyhood club till date.
Morgan Gibbs-White scored his first senior goal for Wolves against Pyunik in the qualifying stages of the Europa League earlier this season but he has struggled to make much of an impact thereafter, with Nuno Santo only preferring him in a bit-part role.
The Stafford-born ace, who represented England U-21s at the 2019 UEFA U-21 European Championship earlier in the year, is regarded as one of the brightest up and coming prospects across the nation but he has struggled to translate his massive potential into performances.
Despite only starting once in the Premier League so far and playing a meagre 120 minutes of football, Nuno Santo has preferred Gibbs-White as a starter in each of Wolves’ first three group games in the Europa League.
Having started their European campaign with a disappointing 1-0 home defeat against Braga, the Black Country outfit has fought back brilliantly with back-to-back victories away from home against Besiktas and Slovan Bratislava. Gibbs-White has enjoyed plenty of involvement but he has failed to justify the manager’s faith in his abilities.
Wolves produced a remarkable comeback in the second half to overcome Bratislava 2-1 last night but Gibbs-White was once again quite underwhelming.
Despite finding himself in promising positions in the final third on numerous occasions, the teenager left a lot to desire with his execution of the final ball and hardly made good use of possession.
Agreed, he continues to be prodigious talent with serious potential and his work rate on the pitch cannot be faulted either. However, one does get the feeling that the pressure of delivering the goods in the Premier League and the Europa League has come to him a lot earlier than it should have.
Undoubtedly, the 19-year-old is one of the prized assets at the club, and with a relatively small squad making it difficult for Wolves to cope with the challenge of playing in Europe this season, Gibbs-White is likely to get a lot of regular minutes if he stays at Molineux for the entirety of the campaign.
However, if the numbers are anything to go by, Morgan Gibbs-White has managed only a solitary goal and an assist in 63 senior appearances for Wolves.
While it is worth arguing that a developing teenager shouldn’t be judged solely based on figures, some sections of the fans will definitely agree to the fact that the 19-year-old’s development at Molineux has stalled to some extent over the past few months.
Realistically, it is not a matter of lack of playtime at Wolves that is hampering his progress, given that players of his age are hardly considered as regular starters at any club in a league as gruelling as the Premier League.
However, it would be fair to say that Gibbs-White still needs to go through an intermediate step in his development that would help him work on the flaws in his game and cut out the rough edges to an extent before he is ready to make a big impact in the Premier League.
The teenager has illustrated a level of maturity that belies his tender years ever since he was fast-tracked into Wolves’ senior ranks as a 16-year-old three seasons ago. But he now he requires a temporary spell in the Championship to hone his skills and make strides towards evolving into the finished article that the fans would ideally want him to be in the future.
Gibbs-White is a player with a big future ahead of him and while he might have a substantial role to play in the second half of the campaign at Molineux, Wolves should not hesitate to loan him out in January to allow him to get a taste of Championship football.
A lot of youngsters have benefitted from temporary stints in the second-tier, with Leicester City starlet Harvey Barnes and Chelsea academy prospects Tammy Abraham and Mason Mount being prime examples of players who have made a successful transition to the top-flight in recent times.
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There is a reason why the Championship has been regarded as a breeding ground for quality young talents over the years and a loan spell in the second-tier would definitely make Morgan Gibbs-White a better player and go a long way towards toughening him up, both physically and mentally.
Wolves need to oversee his development carefully and altering their stance in January could work wonders in the future for all parties involved.