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.
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.
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."
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