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Barry Douglas sale defended as Wolves say they have enough cover

By Tim Spiers | Wolves | Published:

Sporting director Kevin Thelwell says Wolves have enough cover throughout their squad, despite the sale of Barry Douglas.

Clockwise from top left; Barry Douglas, Oleksandr Zinchenko, Jonny Castro Otto and Ryan Giles

Wolves signed 10 players in deals worth £67million in the biggest summer of spending in the club's history.

But there was frustration from some supporters when Douglas, who set up 14 goals last season, was sold to Leeds.

Thelwell told the Express & Star: "I can see why people would question it on the face of it.

"Barry is a top professional, a top person and had an exceptional and outstanding season – he should be very proud of what he did for Wolves

"Things change for a lot of different reasons – that's football. You get to the point where we have to do the best thing for Wolves.

"Players come in with different characteristics and it should be remembered that Barry had one year left on his contract.

"Hopefully we found a solution where everyone feels they've been able to move forward.

"Barry is now at the top of the Championship in a very big team and we wish him all the best – him and his family were nothing but a pleasure to deal with."

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Wolves hoped to sign Manchester City's left-sided Ukrainian international Oleksandr Zinchenko in a £16m deal, but it fell through on deadline day.

Thelwell said: "We were all disappointed but there are a million and one deals that don't go ahead for whatever reason.

"We're admired the player for a long time but unfortunately for us we couldn't get that one over the line.

"I always describe it as a tip of an iceberg – people only see it when it goes in the paper that he's signing or he's signed.

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"There is so much going on behind the scenes. These deals are easy to do on the face of it but difficult on paper.

"We were hoping to get Zinchenko over the line but at the same time we were always comfortable with the bodies we had in the building."

Thelwell insisted that the Zinchenko deal falling through so late didn't scupper the club's plans – and that they have enough cover in the wing back positions.

"We got a lot of work done early and then when it comes closer to the deadline more opportunities to buy players tend to come up, that's just the nature of the window," Thelwell added.

"We've got Matt Doherty and Jonny Castro Otto who are both right-footed but can both play at left wing back, then you've got the two younger ones underneath in Ruben Vinagre and Ryan Giles.

"Vinagre, even though he didn't play a huge amount last season, has proved he's got high potential and is very capable going forward.

"Giles had an outstanding pre-season and looks like he's comfortable in the first team setup and has high potential too.

"I don't think anyone expected the impact Ryan would make. I was chatting to a sporting director who asked why he isn't in our first-team squad because he was unbelievable in pre-season.

"That shows the strength in depth we have.

"We're very lucky we have a head coach who understands that young players can play a part at that level."

Tim Spiers

By Tim Spiers
@tim_spiers_Star

Writes about Wolverhampton Wanderers Football Club for a living

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