It’s fair to say that Wolves had made a fairly solid start to their first Premier League season since they were relegated back in the 2011/2012 season under Terry Connor. As of right now, Wolves sit in 9th place and their fans would undoubtedly be more than happy if the season was to come to an end tomorrow.
Since 2000, only one newly-promoted team has finished higher than 7th in the Premier League. However, after such an impressive season last year in a highly competitive Championship, many predicted that Wolves could be the surprise package of the Premier League in the upcoming season. It’s worth remembering that all three promoted teams this season (Fulham, Wolves and Cardiff) have spent significant amounts of money in an attempt to retain their Premier League status – and as a result, the 2018/2019 season looks set to be one of the most competitive leagues in recent memory.
After breaking their transfer record with the signing of Ruben Neves for £15 million, Wolves went three million better in the summer and signed winger Adama Traore from Middlesbrough for £18 million. Of course, spending the big bucks doesn’t always guarantee success but there’s no doubt that in order for newly promoted clubs to have any chance of competing in the league, the owners have to at least partially open their chequebooks. Thanks to Wolves’ impressive early season form, they are currently 50/1 with Betway to be relegated back to the Championship, which puts them on an equal footing with Leicester and ahead of teams such as Everton and Watford. This would indicate that the bookies believe that Wolves can finish in the top half of the Premier League and beyond if they keep performing at the levels they have shown so far.
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Perhaps more importantly than making new signings, Wolves managed to turn two loan deals into permanent switches for the club. Ruben Vinagre and Leo Bonatini were highly successful last year in the Championship, and Wolves sealed moves in the summer for the duo from Monaco and Al-Hilal respectively, which is perhaps indicative of the faith that the pair had in the team and the manager for the upcoming season. There’s no doubt that the pedigree of Nuno Espirito Santo has had an overwhelming positive impact on the club and with clubs such as Monaco and Deportivo La Coruna on his CV, the Portuguese man is no stranger to managing clubs in high-pressure situations.
Source: Nuno Espirito Santo via Facebook
On the surface, Wolves have everything in place to comfortably secure a top half finish in the Premier League this season. When you take into account the exploits of Burnley last season, you wouldn’t put it past Wolves to challenge for a Europa League place – Wolves are certainly no weaker than Burnley were last season and there are a number of teams hovering around those positions who are much of a muchness. Can Wolves be the first newly promoted team since Ipswich in the 2000/2001 season? Only time will tell but there’s one thing for sure: Wolves fans can certainly be proud of the way their side has accredited themselves so far in the top flight and we wouldn’t be surprised if there’s plenty more to come.