Former England international and current pundit Danny Mills believes that Wolves are going to be selling some first-team players following the arrival of Daniel Podence.
Speaking to Football Insider, the former Leeds defender claims that the club bought players in this window to potentially act as a replacement for players who will be leaving in the summer window.
Given that the club have let Patrick Cutrone, Ryan Bennett and Jesus Vallejo go in January who were all around the first-team squad, they have only added Daniel Podence who is going to be a potential starter. Four other youngsters joined in the names of Leonardo Campana (probably the most likely to play due to the shortage of attackers), Nigel Lonwijk, Enzo Loiodice and Luke Matheson, with the latter being sent back to Rochdale to complete the season.
Despite this, Mills claims that they’ve added numbers and quality.
Mills told Football Insider: “They’re building something. Nuno Espirito Santo is clearly there, they’re good at getting players in, their recruitment policy has been very, very good and they’re starting to build a squad now.
“This season they’ve had to compete with European football as well as with the Premier League and they now added numbers and added quality is never a bad thing.
“They’ve got players also that they know that might attract big offers in the summer so getting extra bodies in now, getting them into the club and used to the way that they play I think is good business. They’re preparing for the future, whether a couple of players get pinched.”
Did we do enough business in January?
Absolutely not. We're well short
Unsure - will depend on keeping everyone fit
Yes, we don't need to add anymore
For a side that has the pressure of the Premier League and the Europa League in the second half of the season, they are probably shorter on numbers now than they were at the beginning of the window, which makes Mills’ comments dumbfounding.
On a story released on Christmas Day by the Express and Star, Nuno Espirito Santo allegedly says “of course we need players”. Five weeks later – has that really happened? Not really.
Additionally, the way in which the club has so few centre back options is surely going to be a concern. Wolves currently have Conor Coady, Willy Boly, Max Kilman, Romain Saiss and Leander Dendoncker as options for their three-man central defence, with the last two of them being central midfielders.
It’s easy to forget how fortunate the club have been with injuries. Currently, the club have just two injured but say an injury comes to either one of Ruben Neves or Joao Moutinho as well as one of Conor Coady or Willy Boly, that means that Max Kilman is probably going to have to be the first choice due to one of Saiss and Dendoncker having to play in midfield. That’s not meant as a criticism to Kilman, however, is he really the defender they want to rely upon if the club makes the latter stages of the Europa League?
What would happen if they ended up with a situation like at Newcastle if they had 11 out injured? It’s obviously a worst-case scenario, but it can’t be denied that they are light in numbers in almost every position apart from in goal or on the wings.
So for Mills to suggest these signings were made to prepare for first-team players to leave is just simply wide of the mark and unlikely. If they are, well, there are going to be a lot of unhappy Wolves fans come the next transfer window.