Nuno: Rayan Ait-Nouri has Wolves backing

Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo insists young full-back Rayan Ait-Nouri has their ‘confidence and total support’ going into the final weeks of the season.

Rayan Ait-Nouri of Wolverhampton Wanderers and Tomas Soucek of West Ham United (AMA)
Rayan Ait-Nouri of Wolverhampton Wanderers and Tomas Soucek of West Ham United (AMA)

With Jonny Castro Otto suffering another major injury to his right knee, 19-year-old Ait-Nouri has started the last two games and looks set to keep the shirt for the last seven matches of 2020/21.

The Frenchman – on loan from Angers, with Wolves having an option to buy him in the summer – has made 18 appearances across all competitions this campaign.

And assessing his progress, Nuno said: “The case of Rayan is very similar to many of the younger players that we’ve had this season.

“Some of those were rushed into the team pretty early in the season, without too much knowledge of the competition of the Premier League – how difficult it is. Our players have struggled with that.

“Rayan had been away from the team for some time, but now he’s had his chance. It’s not easy, but he’s committed to improving.

“Most important is that he has our confidence and total support.”

Left-sided Ait-Nouri is one of the many young players in Wolves’ current squad. Fabio Silva, Vitinha, Morgan Gibbs-White, Owen Otasowie and Ki-Jana Hoever are also under the age of 22.

On whether it has been tough for that group because of their age, Nuno added: “Not only because of the age.

“When you come to England, it requires a fast adaptation.

“We have not been able to do as much as we wished on that aspect, but with Fabio, Vitor, Morgan, Owen, Ki, Rayan, we have talent and youth, and it’s finding the balance to allow these players to grow.

“It’s important to be very supportive and very aware of the analysis, the momentum of the players and the team. All of this is important.”

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