Four who could help Bruno Lage build his Wolves defence

Centre-half is an area Wolves must improve this summer as new head coach Bruno Lage looks to stamp his mark.

Bruno Lage needs defenders (Photo: Wolves)
Bruno Lage needs defenders (Photo: Wolves)

Supporters have long highlighted it as an issue, and the club cannot afford to ignore it any longer.

Of course, getting a ready-made stopper through the door is far easier said than done.

But here are four suggestions to reinforce the heart of defence, with Lage knowing one very well.

Ferro

Someone Lage may want to reunite with at Molineux is the 6ft 4in Ferro.

The 24-year-old made his senior breakthrough under Wolves’ new gaffer at Benfica and played an important role in their 2018/19 Primeira Liga title triumph.

He started 13 matches that term – his full debut being a 10-0 win over Nacional which he scored in – and the side did not lose once.

Ferro then continued to be a regular presence in defence, alongside Ruben Dias, the following season.

Since Lage’s Benfica exit, though, his career appears to have stalled somewhat.

He only made four league starts for Benfica last campaign before going on to spend the second half of the term on loan at Valencia, where he made three starts.

Ferro has reportedly been told he is not in Benfica’s plans now either, so perhaps a deal could be struck if Lage wants him again.

Tosin Adarabioyo

Signing a player from a relegated team might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but Fulham’s Adarabioyo appears to tick a few boxes.

The former Manchester City youngster is still only 23 despite making more than 100 senior appearances.

He tallied the most clearances of any player in the Premier League last season, with 193, while also recording the fastest sprint time of any centre-back.

Fulham’s Tosin Adarabioyo would be a decent option if Wolves decide to go down the domestic route this summer (AMA)

Adarabioyo was one half of the Cottagers’ main centre-half pairing under Scott Parker alongside Lyon loanee Joachim Anderson, playing 32 times in the top flight.

He is said be available for a respectable £10million, too, so he wouldn’t break the bank.

You could very much argue someone more accomplished is needed, but the 6ft 5in ball-playing defender fits into Wolves’ age range and would have potential sell-on value.

Fabian Balbuena

Wolves’ technical director Scott Sellars has stated the need to be ‘creative’ in this window and in terms of free agents, there could be some decent options.

Balbuena has just been released by West Ham, for example, and at 29, he could still have a fair amount to offer in the Premier League.

The Paraguayan was a regular during Manuel Pellegrini’s stint at the London Stadium before falling out of favour under David Moyes.

He still played a decent part in their eventual Europa League qualification last season, though, making 14 league starts in total.

Pellegrini’s current club Real Betis have been liked with a move for Balbuena, but his agent Renato Bittar insists there are ‘several options’ on the table.

It isn’t one which would exactly set pulses racing, but Wolves’ last free agent signing at centre-half in Ryan Bennett turned out to be alright.

James Tarkowski

While the previous three suggestions would be low in terms of costs, this one would obviously take lots more money.

If Wolves really wish to set their stall out and get a serious centre-half, one of the best options outside the classic ‘big six’ is Tarkowski.

Big, strong and accomplished with the ball at his feet, it may be the time for the 28-year-old to leave Burnley – especially if he wants to make a late England push.

West Ham are said to be interested again and a move to Molineux does seem unlikely. In an ideal world, though, he would do just the job.

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