Wolves signing this talented 21-year-old Brazilian would get them a perfect Neves replacement

Wolves opinion: Wolves should sign Wendel from Sporting Lisbon

Wolverhampton Wanderers have been incredible since their promotion to the Premier League this season. Nuno Espirito Santo’s side currently sit 7th in the table and have the Europa League at sight with just 8 games to go.

However, with good performances from players comes the attention of bigger clubs and Wolves star Ruben Neves has been heavily linked with a move away from the club in the summer.

The Portuguese star has been having a brilliant season so far and if Wolves were to lose him, they would need a solid replacement. Sporting Lisbon’s Wendel is one player who should be considered.

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Naturally a box-to-box midfielder, Wendel has been used everywhere in central midfield and on the left wing in his time at Sporting so far.

The Brazilian has been a star in the side behind Bruno Fernandes and has helped hold Sporting after a disastrous summer that saw 9 first-team players leave the club.

Having missed most of the first 10 games due to injury, Wendel has cemented his place in central midfield at the Portuguese capital. A product of Brazilian giants Fluminense, Wendel has impressed in each of the 23 games he has played in this season in all competitions.

Having been involved directly in 6 goals so far, Wendel’s attacking prowess has been limited due to his role being more defensive at times.

However, when deployed in his natural number 8 position, Wendel has caught the eye of many and is a fan favourite at the José Alvalade Stadium.

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One of the first things you will notice in Wendel’s game is his balance between attack and defence. The 21-year-old rarely shows a willingness to get out of position to attack as he sticks to his role of being a player who helps in the transition.

Wendel is almost never caught out of position and is a player who adjusts himself to the progression of the game. His ability to quickly reposition himself from an attacking position to a defensive one is something that is increasingly important in the modern game.

Wendel’s strange yet incredibly efficient trait is his unpredictability. He chooses his movements very carefully and often confuses his marker with what he does next.

The Brazilian’s understanding of the game and of the player in front of him is at times mind blowing as he almost always manages to trick them into making the wrong decision.

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Despite his defensive skills being highlighted in his game, the 21-year-old is a brilliant dribbler and gets past his opponents with relative ease. His range of passing is impressive too and his shots from distance are as deadly as they can possibly get.

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Wendel will be an incredible replacement for Ruben Neves and in some ways, he has a similar skill set to that of the Portuguese. The Brazilian will also provide more steel than Neves and his addition will help Wolves reach the next level, especially with a European adventure looking likely next season.

Written by Shamanth Jayaram

24-year old Electrical engineer turned football writer, born and brought up in Bangalore.

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