Wolves chairman Jeff Shi hails impact of Jorge Mendes
Wolves chairman Jeff Shi has hailed super agent Jorge Mendes as ‘a teacher’ who has helped the club significantly over the past few years.
Mendes is the intermediary for Nuno Espirito Santo, who oversaw a remarkable rise to seventh in the Premier League the term just gone.
And club owners Fosun have been able to call on Mendes’s expertise in the transfer market, with the signings of Ruben Neves and Diogo Jota being particularly big success stories.
Speaking on his influence, Shi told CNBC: “We knew Jorge four or five years ago, but to Wolves, he is more like a teacher sometimes because he is the centre of the whole industry.
“Sometimes, like a student, you have to learn something quickly from the best or one (of the best) in this industry.
“He can tell us a lot about what’s the best experience in a very good club, and what the good players like, and what they’re thinking, and what they need to do to help the coach.
“So that’s very important. And I see during the past three seasons he helped a lot.”
Wolves unveiled an artist’s impression of what an expanded Molineux with a new South Bank, Billy Wright and Steve Bull stands could look like in the future.
And on stadium plans, Shi said: “We have our plan to expand the stadium.
“I was thinking about that and not for this season maybe for next season but I’ve seen the squad is the priority ahead of the stadium, so we should put every penny into the squad at the beginning and it will build a strong squad.
“If you have not got a very big stadium, you can still win games.
“The stadium is good for the long term because you can get more fans to come.”
Shi also spoke about the focus Fosun have had on the academy, and will continue to have.
They are aiming to ‘invest smart’ and ‘provide a pathway’ to the first team.
“We’ve spent a lot on the academy, and want to invest smart,” said Shi.
“We want to increase the efficiency on investment, so one of the parts is about to invest into a young player.
“When they are cheap is when they are young, and then (we try) to develop them into a star in future.
“You can see some big clubs they have a very fantastic academy, but the young players they have not a pathway to go up.
“So, we are trying to provide the pathway to train with the first team, to play in the first team, and I do feel we are one unit, we are one team.”