The inside track on Wolves' incoming goalkeeper Jose Sa

Following Rui Patricio's £10million move to Roma, Wolves are on the verge of making a swift replacement with the capture of Jose Sa from Olympiacos.

Jose Sa (PA)
Jose Sa (PA)

The Portuguese shot-stopper is expected to make a £6.8million move to Molineux and become Bruno Lage’s fourth signing of the summer.

Wolves fans may be familiar with Sa after he started one of the Europa League round of 16 ties for Olympiacos last year.

With the signing close to being complete we spoke to Olympiacos fan and footballer blogger Stephen Kountourou – who writes for Hellas Football and appears on the Gate 7 International Podcast – for the inside track on Wolves’ new man.

How would you describe Sa as a goalkeeper?

The first thought that comes to mind when describing Jose as a goalkeeper is reliable. He’s what many would see as a good example of the modern day European shot-stopper, tall, athletic, capable of making acrobatic saves when called upon to do so and has been a reassuring presence for the Olympiacos backline ever since he took up the starting keeper role three seasons ago.

Is he comfortable playing out from the back?

This is something that he has grown into over the past couple of years in Piraeus as we as a club have been able to shut down attacks from even the biggest of opponents by playing it out from the back via Sa and our defence with relative ease.

What are his biggest strengths and weaknesses?

Sa’s biggest strengths for me, as I entailed in the previous question, is his shot stopping capability, his athleticism, his ability to come up clutch for the team in big moments to either keep us in a game, whether it be a last-ditch save or denying a penalty. The biggest weakness for me, and I can honestly say I have witnessed very few with Sa’s time in Greece, perhaps that he is a confidence player. He did go through a small patch of making the occasional error and it was evident that this affected his overall performances for a month or so. But I can assure you that he came back even stronger from it and was better than ever and finished the season looking like his reliable old self.

Rui Patricio tended to make occasional errors at his near post, is there one particular thing Sa struggles with?

If it was to give one example of something Jose struggles with I would say it is footwork. That’s not to say he is bad with his pacing or distribution from a goal-kick, far from it. But with goalkeepers having to be as good on the ball as an outfield player, this is something he has been improving on and can always get better at.

Aged 28 he should be in his prime, but can he get better?

I believe that Sa is in his prime currently and Wolves have in Sa a keeper that can, if given time to show what he is capable of, hit even bigger heights in the Premier League for you guys.

Do you think he will adjust to the physicality of the Premier League well?

The Greek Super League in itself is a physical league so I do think this is something that Sa will be ready for, but perhaps there will be a natural adjustment period as the level is far greater in England.

Will Sa’s European experience serve him well in the Premier League?

What Sa brings to Wolves is a winning mentality. He has been part of a side that, yes, plays in a weaker league, but the pressure at Olympiacos to win every single game, never lose and claim the league title is such that it hardens a player and makes them ready to face the challenges of higher quality competition. His experiences playing at the highest level in the Champions League and Europa League will also stand Sa in good stead as he has not only played against the likes of, Manchester City, Tottenham, Arsenal, Wolves and Burnley in the last three years but has helped take us to a solid finish in all of these competitions. I can only wish Jose all the best at Wolves and that he is as good a servant to you as he was to us.

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