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Wolves watching 5,000 players

By Tim Spiers | Wolves | Published:

Wolves are keeping tabs on 5,000 players a month as their scouting network dramatically increases.

Jeff Shi and Kevin Thelwell (© AMA / Sam Bagnall)

Sporting director Kevin Thelwell said it was 'very exciting' to have such an expansive list of players and that Fosun wanted to 'invest in class'.

Wolves have brought 37 first team players to the club either on loan or permanently since Fosun took charge in 2016.

"Fosun want to invest in class," Thelwell told a meeting of the Wolves Fans' Parliament.

"We are getting reports on approximately 5,000 players a month – it’s becoming a big process.

"We are not just crossing our fingers and hoping we can get the very best out of him or make something out of someone.

"It makes it very exciting to be searching through a high quantity of players.

"We are still some way from making hard and fast decisions (about January). The windows are very tough but I’m not complaining."

Spanish striker Rafa Mir has been in good goalscoring form for Las Palmas and Spain Under-21s this season.

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However Thelwell said there was no option to recall him in January,

"The plan was always to leave him for the full season," Thelwell said

"Nuno thought he needed a good run at settling into a season but he has come to prominence through scoring so many goals and we are monitoring him closely."

During the meeting, Thelwell was asked about the summer sale of Benik Afobe. The striker moved to Stoke in a £12million deal just days after Wolves took an option up to sign him for £10m.

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The sporting director insisted Afobe was signed in 'good faith'.

"He did very well last season," Thelwell said. "We made a decision in good faith to sign him but circumstances change very quickly and it was considered to be in the best interests of us all to do something different."

Thelwell also spoke about the club's extensive loan list – and their new link-up with Spanish side Jumilla, which has seen several players sent to play in the Spanish second tier.

"We have Seyi Olofinjana as loans pathway manager and talk on a daily basis," Thelwell said.

"If they play well out on loan, they can bounce back to us, but we have found the loan system in England frustrating.

"Sending players out is a way to build their experience or build their value. The partnership with Jumilla is a good relationship. It’s something we will look at long term with them or elsewhere. Many other clubs do it."

Tim Spiers

By Tim Spiers
@tim_spiers_Star

Writes about Wolverhampton Wanderers Football Club for a living

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