By the numbers: Joao Moutinho's Wolves stats among the best
As we continue to wait for football’s return, let’s take a look at another Wolves player’s statistics for the season so far.
We are all longing for veteran midfielder Joao Moutinho being back on the pitch, wowing us with his excellent passing range and high energy.
The 33-year-old never ceases to amaze, so let’s have a look at his campaign by the numbers.
A big thing you need to be considered a top midfielder is to be an efficient passer of the ball – and luckily for Wolves, Moutinho is among the best in the league in that regard.
Having completed 1,439 passes across the 29 games played before football’s suspension, the Portuguese sits at the top of the chart for Nuno Espirito Santo’s side.
He is just ahead of compatriot and fellow midfield magician Ruben Neves (1,435), with skipper and sweeper Conor Coady (1,367) in third place.
For the Premier League as a whole, Moutinho is in 13th – just behind Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne (1,470).
The league leader is another City player, Rodri, with 1,995.
But what makes Moutinho so impressive is that his work off the ball, despite the fact he is supposed to be in his twilight years, is of an even higher level than his work on it.
He is not one to just admire his supreme passing – if Wolves lose possession, he is more often than not winning it back for them.
With 79 successful tackles, he is again at the top of the Wolves tree.
Jonny Castro Otto (77) is second, while utility man Leander Dendoncker is third (56).
Then, for the league as a whole, Moutinho is only bettered by one midfielder.
Leicester’s Wilfred Ndidi (91) is No.1.
But being 10 years older than the Foxes man, Moutinho’s output is quite phenomenal.
Unlike the other two departments, Moutinho does not lead the Wolves list.
His six assists puts him joint-second, with Raul Jimenez, while Adama Traore (seven) has the most for Nuno’s men.
Still, Moutinho is among the top goal-providing midfielders in the league.
Unsurprisingly, De Bruyne is by far and away the best for assists, with 16.
Moutinho, though, is a very respectable joint-fourth – level with Villa’s Jack Grealish, Leicester’s Harvey Barnes and Manchester United’s Daniel James.
It is not just the Premier League that Moutinho has been setting up goals frequently in either.
In the Europa League, he has seven assists to his name – four in the qualifying rounds, three more once things properly got going.
Moutinho, ultimately, has pretty much all you could ask for from a midfielder.
If you are being pedantic, you could ask for more goals, but he is so graceful with the ball and so tenacious off it.
A complete delight to watch.