However, if Wolves are really serious about getting their hands on the 22-year-old right-back, they would need to fend off interest from Premier League rivals Newcastle and Watford, as well as a host of Championship clubs who are also keeping tabs on his progress. (h/t Birmingham Live)
Born in Angola, Buta migrated to Portugal as a kid and started his footballing education at lower division clubs Agueda and Beira-Mar before joining Benfica’s youth system in 2011.
Having caught the eye with his development in the club’s academy, the 22-year-old was promoted to the ‘B’ team, where he made 29 appearances.
Having failed to make the grade at his boyhood club, the highly-rated right-back initially joined Royal Antwerp on a season-loan loan deal in 2017 before completing a permanent switch last summer.
Buta has scored once while setting up another 10 in 54 appearances for Antwerp across all competitions and his burgeoning reputation as modern-day attacking full-back in Belgium hasn’t gone unnoticed, with several Premier League clubs now on red alert.
As per the report, Aurelio Buta, who has a contract at Antwerp until the summer of 2021, is rated at £5million by the Belgian outfit. Given the 22-year-old’s rich vein of form over the past twelve months, he could well be the next big Belgian import to the Premier League.
Over the years, the Belgian market has proven to be a reliable source of young talents for the Premier League clubs, with the likes of Romelu Lukaku, Christian Benteke, Marouane Fellaini, Wilfred Ndidi and many others establishing themselves as top quality players on the English shores.
To put things into perspective, Aurelio Buta probably fits the bill for all the aforementioned clubs but Newcastle United could bag a real coup if they manage to beat off competition for his services in January.
The 22-year-old, who has accumulated 57 caps for Portugal from U-16 to U-20 level, has been profiled by Birmingham Live as an attacking full-back with the versatility to play as a wing-back and also as an out-and-out winger further up the pitch.
Those attributes should make him a tailor-made fit for Nuno Santo’s philosophy, which involves using three central defenders with two wing-backs providing width on either side of the pitch.
As per the report, the manager had stressed on the need to bring in an alternative to Matt Doherty at right wing-back prior to the start of the campaign.
Adama Traore has proven himself to be a useful player in that role but the utility of a specialist recruit cannot be overruled, particularly when the fee involved is expected to be in the region of £5million.
Central defence is one area where Wolves need some reinforcements in January following the injury to Willy Boly, while a new creative midfielder and a striker would also fit the bill, with the team now having to cope with the pressure of playing in the Europa League.
A new right wing-back might not be a priority but Aurelio Buta seems to be a real talent in the right age bracket and Wolves might be left red-faced if some other club snaps him up for a thrifty fee in the upcoming transfer window and the 22-year-old goes on to flourish elsewhere.
All in all, more depth in all departments is desirable if Wolves are to build on their newly-found European status and Aurelio Buta looks like a smart option at a reasonable price for the club’s ambitious owners.
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