Nuno Espirito Santo has revealed that Wolverhampton Wanderers will be without Diogo Jota against Manchester United in Saturday evening’s FA Cup clash. The 23-year-old suffered a leg injury in Wolves’ New Year’s Day defeat to Watford and will be forced to sit out over the weekend.
Jota was the recipient of a heavy challenge from Christian Kabasele and was substituted in the 24th minute as a result. The Portuguese international had been a regular this season, scoring and creating 14 goals in 29 appearances, but Wolves may be without him for a little while.
Nuno said in Friday’s pre-match press conference: “Unfortunately, Diogo is not available. In the last game, the moment of the red card for Kabasele, no intention at all, but he had a strong impact. Tomorrow and probably the next days, he’s out.
“He’s being assessed, he’s done an MRI, but it’s not good. We have to wait for all the blood, that the impact caused, to go down, so the ‘doc’ can evaluate him better and assess him. After that we’ll have a proper look at the diagnosis.
“Every time a player is not available, it’s not good. The reality is we have a small squad, so every time a player is not an option, it causes you problems. At the same time, problems, we must find solutions. That’s what we’re finding out now.”
Whether Jota will be fit to face to Newcastle United on January 11 remains to be seen, but his absence is an opportunity for Pedro Neto to feature. The 19-year-old, who boasts six goals and assists in 23 games, has impressed in recent weeks and was rewarded with a couple of starts against Liverpool and Watford.
Nuno is expected to ring the changes ahead of Saturday’s meeting in order to rest a number of first-team players, so Neto could have featured regardless of Jota’s situation. Fans will have to wait for another update on Jota after his evaluation is complete.