Express & Star

Wolves debrief: Yerson Mosquera looks good but defence still needs work

Pre-season friendly results are rarely important as the team bid to get up to speed ahead of the new season.

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Wolves prepare for the game (Getty/Wolves)

But Wolves’ 1-0 win over Real Betis and 3-2 loss to Las Palmas two days later prove new boss Bruno Lage still has work to do to get his men prepared for the Premier League.

Those two results followed a 1-0 defeat to Crewe, with all three games providing both positives and negatives for the new head coach.

But with the opening game of the season only two-and-a-half weeks away, when Wolves travel to face Leicester on August 14, questions still hang over this group of players.

Defensive issues

Wolves in action (Photo: Wolves/Getty)

It was fairly obviously to most Wolves supporters that the defence needed looking at this summer.

Fernando Marcal has so far stayed fit in pre-season, almost making him a new signing after his injury-laden campaign last year.

Captain Conor Coady is also set to come back into the team after his Euros break and joined up with the squad in Marbella on Monday.

But despite that, the club may need to delve into the market deep into August to address some issues.

Max Kilman has proved himself to be a handy centre-back who is both confident on the ball and useful in the air.

Without a doubt he should be a good squad option, but the jury is still out on whether he has the required pace to play in a back four.

The same issue applies to Romain Saiss, who also has a mistake in him.

A clean sheet against Real Betis was overshadowed by a shaky defence that leaked three poor goals against Las Palmas. Of course, some academy youngsters were also involved but the current crop of players – and the style Lage wants them to play – are yet to gel in defence.

Willy Boly’s injury is also a huge blow. It remains to be seen how long he will be missing for.

Magical Mosquera

Yerson Mosquera (Wolves/Getty)

Although the defence – and centre-back in particular – needs some work, Wolves’ new Colombian giant has caught the eye.

Yerson Mosquera is raw. At just 20 years old he may not have a huge impact this season, but on recent showings he might be putting himself in line for some Premier League minutes soon.

He was the first signing of the Lage era but somewhat faded into the background as coronavirus quarantine rules meant he did not meet up with the team until early last week.

However, his displays in Marbella have proven him to be a fast, aggressive and capable addition to the squad who may surprise a few this season.

His long-range assist for Morgan Gibbs-White against Las Palmas was wonderful, too.

A future for Cutrone?

Patrick Cutrone (Getty/Wolves)

Sometimes you have to wonder how many chances one player can be given, but Patrick Cutrone could be due another opportunity.

The Italian has not won any favour with the Wolves fans with recent comments and Instagram posts from agents suggesting he will be leaving.

But the striker adds something different to the forward line and took his goal against Real Betis – the first of the Lage era – very well.

If Lage continues to play two strikers then he will need balance in the squad to reflect that and Cutrone could be the answer.

Rafa Mir will also be due back following Spain’s exploits at the Tokyo Olympics and one – or both of them – could be given a chance with depth needed in the forward area.