Why Wolverhampton Wanderers must make a move for Josip Ilicic
It looks like the end of Leo Bonatini’s chapter at Wolverhampton Wanderers, with Greek outlet SDNA claiming that PAOK sporting director Marco Branco travelled to England to sign the out-of-favour striker.
Leo Bonatini, 24, has had a mixed time at the Molineux following his arrival from Al-Hilal in the summer of 2017. The Brazilian, after a blistering start to his Wolves career, went completely missing in the second half of last season. Yet, Wolves manager Nuno Espirito Santo signed the striker permanently, surprising the Molineux faithful.
But the move hasn’t worked at all as Bonatini has failed to improve. And with the Brazilian now off to Greece, Nuno Espirito Santo needs to bring in a replacement this month.
Signing a new striker has to be a priority for Santo, with Raul Jimenez and Ivan Cavaleiro set to be the only options up front following the potential departure of Bonatini. Jimenez has shouldered the burden of scoring goals this season but he has found very little support from his teammates.
The likes of Helder Costa, Ivan Cavaleiro and Diogo Jota have blown hot and cold, while Adama Traore has been nothing short of a disappointment. Therefore, signing an attacker is of paramount importance for Wolves and Nuno should consider making a move for Atalanta star Josip Ilicic.
Josip Ilicic, 30, has enjoyed a solid season in the Serie A till date with six strikes and three assists already to his name. He is one of the key members of Gian Piero Gasperini’s Atalanta side that is eighth in the table after 19 games.
Despite possessing a burly frame, the Slovenian falls into the category of rare forwards with delicate footwork and dribbling skills. Josip Ilicic generally operates as a No.10 but he can also be used as a supporting striker or as a winger.
Blessed with quick feet and vision, the 30-year-old is an intelligent and creative playmaker who always backs his ability to get past the opponent.
Josip Ilicic doesn’t have the raw pace to maraud through the middle but his calmness in possession and ability to pick out a pass would make him an asset for Wolves. He has also played in European competitions and has over 50 caps for Slovenia, meaning Wolves will get a vastly experienced player if they manage to land Ilicic.
Capable of unlocking any defence using his incredible vision and passing range, Ilicic fits the profile at Wolves. Hence, Nuno should do everything in his power to lure the Slovenian sensation to the Molineux.