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Wolves comment: Back Bruno Lage and give him the players to do his job

Wolves are on the cusp of making Bruno Lage their new boss in what is a bold and brave move.

And once the contracts are signed and his backroom team are in place, they must give him the best possible chance of success at Molineux.

Having been granted a work permit on Wednesday, Lage is all set to take the reins.

A formal announcement from the club could come next week – ahead of the 45-year-old Portuguese’s arrival for pre-season next month.

But Lage’s appointment is just the first step.

Fosun – barring a dramatic change of heart at the 11th hour – have their man, and he has to be backed.

After all, even before Nuno Espirito Santo’s exit which was instigated by the club, everyone had been speaking about what a huge window Wolves had ahead of them.

The talk was all on the squad needing a refresh, and that has not changed. New players are certainly needed.

Lage will be coming in with fresh ideas and, based on what he did at Benfica, a more expansive style.

Of course, he has been out of work for almost a year, but he did win the Primeira Liga title in his first season while his side scored a whopping 103 goals.

There, he won 67 per cent of his 76 matches. They also had an eye-catching goal difference of plus 104 from those games.

From those statistics, it is fair to say he likes to attack.

Wolves, though, were among the lowest scorers in the Premier League last term, netting only 36 times in the end, so that difference has to be addressed.

Lage’s preferred formation at Benfica, too, was 4-4-2 – a system not used by Nuno apart from late on in a few matches over his four years in charge.

So, if anything, there is a greater onus on revamping the squad. The current crop do not match up with his philosophy.

Wolves, as will likely be the case with a lot of clubs, will probably do a lot of their business after the Euros.

There is the potential for high-profile departures as well, with Ruben Neves and Adama Traore both linked with moves away.

But through it all, they have to give Lage the necessary tools.

It is no good having a new man, with a different way of thinking, at the helm if they do not make significant moves in the market.

He has to be allowed to shape the team to suit his vision.

Wolves have identified Lage as the one to build on the Portuguese-heavy culture developed during Nuno’s tenure rather than completely start from scratch – and you can get that logic.

Make no mistake, though, changes on the playing front are required to get things moving back in the right direction.

Still, the spine of the team has to be upgraded – centre-half, central midfield and centre forward being key areas.

Should Lage wish to carry on in a 4-4-2 as well, you could argue reinforcements are needed out wide.

With Jonny Castro Otto injured again, left-back is another priority position. The goalkeeping department may have to be looked at, too.

There is an enormous amount of work to be done.

Fosun, whatever your feelings on the matter, made a massive call in getting rid of Nuno. That cannot be denied.

Again, though, it only scratched the surface.

This needs to be a very busy summer, and the mistakes of last year cannot be repeated.

There must be a far better blend of youth and experience.

And while the relationship with Jorge Mendes – Lage’s agent – will continue to be used, it should not be relied upon.

When Nuno first came in, Wolves did not hold back. Neves, Diogo Jota and Willy Boly came in and took the Championship by storm.

Lage needs that same treatment as he looks to bring an entertaining, and effective, brand of football to Molineux.

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