Sam Ricketts: Wolves' wingers have star quality

Captain Sam Ricketts today insisted Wolves fans should be re-assured by the arrival of Rajiv Van La Parra rather than concerned by the possible exit of Bakary Sako.

Sam Ricketts of Wolves, left
Sam Ricketts of Wolves, left

Wolves have expected interest in Sako, who only has a year left on his contract, all summer.

But apart from speculation linking him to Premier League new boys Leicester, nothing has materialised and the Mali international is set to return to pre-season training as a Wolves player on Wednesday.

The club insist they will only sell the French winger to a top flight club.

Wolves have added 23-year-old Van La Parra from Dutch club Heerenveen to a well-stocked wide roster already including Sako, new signing Tommy Rowe, James Henry and Michael Jacobs as well as youngsters Eusebio Bancessi, Zeli Ismail, who has returned a loan spell at Burton Albion, and Anthony Forde.

Wolves have signed Heerenveen winger Rajiv van La Parra
Wolves have signed Heerenveen winger Rajiv van La Parra

Ricketts believes Sako will merely inspire his team-mates – new and current – to greater heights as Wolves seek to embark on a promotion challenge in the Championship next season.

“It’s an area where we can’t have too much quality – that’s what you need in the attacking positions,” Ricketts told the Express & Star.

“We’re looking to be as strong as we can within that 20-man squad.

“To have a successful season we need Bakary and he’s one of the best quality players in that 20.

“Whether he pushes others to start or stays in the team, it can only benefit the team.

“That’s the way the club needs to go – we need to have a lot of options going forward, whether they’re starting or coming off the bench.

“We need impact players, and maybe ones that come off the bench with 20 or 30 minutes to go and affect games.”

Ricketts also backed Van La Parra to make an impact in the Championship next season.

“He can play on both sides and the more people we can have in the forward positions, the better,” said the skipper.

“I notice he’s quick from what I’ve seen and no defender likes to play against pace.

“He can cause lots of problems with his pace plus he can get plenty of crosses in and he can finish as well.”

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Comments for: "Sam Ricketts: Wolves' wingers have star quality"


Totally agree we need impact players, but we also need to be strengthening the defence , I cant see Stearman and Batth being strong enough to hold off a better class of striker


Stearman was a liability 2 seasons ago, found his level at League 1..we need a better centre back to pair up with Batth, cant see Maguire coming now so KJ will have to look at other options, if we want to go up we have to strengthen that area.

Euro Wolf

What's going on with your reporting E and S?

1. 'go and effect games! Please learn the difference between affect and effect!

2. MALI! MAIL international!

3. reassure - no hyphen!

4. Missing speech marks at the end of several sentences!

5. Some commas in the wrong place.

6. van La Parra! Small v in his name.

"... the more people we can have in the forward positions, the better," said the skipper. Aaaarrggghhhh! Two bad commas. First one does not flow and the second should be a full stop as the skipper's sentence ends!


Euro Wolf you have said, very succinctly, what I have been thinking for months. This bad english and grammar is not only prevalent in the E&S but in practically ALL of the national press.

Farmer Ted


Anybody who grew up reading Dan Dare in the Eagle, or Roy Race in the Tiger, knows there are three ays, three ars and three aiches in Aaarrrggghhh.

C'mon Euro Wolf, you'll be spelling POW, POWWW, next.


Some good points, Euro Wolf, but when a quotation spans several paragraphs you only need to use the closing quotation mark at the end of the final paragraph.

And I don't think that either of those commas are incorrect, either.


If you can read it, its done the job it was made for, so calm down and av a cuppa.

As for our wingers, we have pace, skill and goals so were fine in that area, just hope we hang onto Sako.

I suggest we now look to signing a centre back, left back and a striker.

In KJ we trust...

old golds worth more

Well if the Grammar and spelling Police are having a go, I will get my two cents worth in as well! The E & S missed out the word "from" when reporting about Zeli Ismail. Quote - "who has returned a loan spell at Burton Albion, and Anthony Forde".

I have read your number 2. point, MALI! MAIL international! and confess to either missing something, or not understanding the point you are making! He (Sako) is a Mali (its a country you know) player, so where does the word "MAIL" come into things?

Oh! I know before anyone says something, I have more than likely got a few words that I have spelt with a Capital Letter that shouldn't have


Agree with the fact we have quantity and quality on the flanks but we need a couple (at least) of finishers.

The crosses will be coming in thick and fast and a striker, from within or from outside will score a lot of goals this coming season.

Well that is what I hope will happen


I still believe Sako will be a Wolves player when the season begins and think it's unlikely that a Premier league team will take a punt on him unless they're getting desperate with time running out.

Sako is a good player but, at the moment, too inconsistent. He could eventually be a great player if he can cut out more of the mistakes that threaten to undo the good stuff we know he's well capable of, but the fact he has just spent a season in League One is indicative of his game at the moment. But he does work harder now, and tracks back to defend a lot more since KJ arrived so I will be happy to see him here next season.


If I was Sam I'd have that main photo framed "Yes Grandkids, I was once a cultured defender who played the game with discipline and with the utmost respect for the opponent!" :D

Jack the Hat

wolves will be okay with five impact wide-men on the bench.

Gorra loff ay ya.



You seem to be getting a very good squad together, I hope they come good for you.

chris h

Instead of correcting grammar, why don't some of you smart people start thinking of another game we can give to the World. Only next time, how about developing one we are actually good at.

Ritchie Wolves

Old chap! Why don't we re-invent football because I aint seen much from our lot just lately!!!!


I have noticed that the smart ar*ses on the WBA do the same, its usually when they haven`t got an answer to a valid point.



When you can make a valid point send it to yourself, as you are the only one who understands anything you say.

Sorry all you Wolves fans, this guy isn't one of ours and he is reluctant to say who he supports, but he keeps appearing on our sites.

Best ignored I think.



Just as I thought Mr Greenman you have a fixation with me, you are even following me now, strange man/woman indeed.

chris h

Ritchie, That was my point. But whatever else we come up with it would be a good idea to avoid a round ball, irrespective of size, judging by today's cricket.

Ritchie Wolves

Chris, we're 57 for five, we have a big chance today old chap!

Whats that white van doing outside my office window!!??

Black Country Wanderer

Maw coments on gramar and punctuashun than football,and they say we BlackCountry guise are thik?

Yo gorra loff ay ya?

Black Country Wanderer

Thank you for the offer of Editor E&S,but i must decline at this moment in time, as my current occupation, as pee taker general, takes up far too much of my time

On a more serious note,i hope Sako stays, but doubt it will happen,long time till window closes, but at least we now have decent cover,just a center half and striker to sign and ill be happy

Ritchie Wolves

Yep, maybe left back cover as well but bang on BCW.

glassboy baggy

Is that Suarez taking a bite out of your captains arm on the front picture . Oops , sorry I forgot Suarez only bites premiership players don't he. ..Boing Boing

Hungry like the Wolves

Sorry, was that supposed to be an insult? A rather poor excuse if that is the best that you can come up with...

Try our beta site!

We’re getting ready to launch our brand new website for and we’d like to give you a sneak preview.

We’re still applying the finishing touches, so please bear with us if something’s not quite right.

We'd love to hear your thoughts, good or bad, via the simple feedback button that you'll see to the right side of every page.

Try the beta