Express & Star

Dave Edwards: Strategy of developing youth pays off for Wolves

Whisper it – I think Wolves fans are starting to get excited now!


What a run Wolves are on! It’s incredible, an amazing time to be a supporter.

I believe this is getting close to taking things to new levels from what Nuno brought. It feels like the team and fans are a little bit more expectant of this strong position than maybe in Nuno’s early success, with the worry of it being a one-off.

This feels more sustainable, with what’s going on at the club.

I felt Bruno Lage would’ve done a great job to achieve mid-table security with the transition the club has gone through.

But excitement is growing, there’s a real chance of European football. The form of four wins from five and although they’ve managed three goals at Molineux twice in a row, which is almost unheard of in recent years, it’s the defence for me that continues to excel.

Wolves were a little sloppy in the first half against Southampton but the foundation on which they can build from the excellent Jose Sa and the back three is brilliant.

The record of 15 conceded, the second-fewest in the league after Man City, is outstanding.

And the big bonus out of Saturday was Toti Gomes coming in. Everyone was screaming out for a centre-half to come in during the summer but Max Kilman has made the step up.

Could Toti Gomes make the step up as well? A lot of credit needs to go to the recruitment staff for what they’ve done in recent years.

There’s been murmurs of discontent over the years, probably from myself too, that they won’t buy those big players, they are looking young and trying to develop.

But all of a sudden, with Kilman and Gomes, you see the value in that, rather than to spend £30million on a centre-half.

They’ve developed Kilman and now he’s worth that himself. There’s no reason why Gomes can’t do the same. I know it was only one performance but he was excellent.

Do Wolves need to look too hard in the window for a centre-half? Maybe not.

It’s a great thing Wolves are developing their own players, it will save them a fortune in fees.

Kilman has to be in the next England squad. I think he’s streets ahead of Tyrone Mings and Harry Maguire prior to his injury, it just shows how well the recruitment and coaching staff deserve.

For the first time on Match of the Day I noticed Max get picked out for a bit of credit. It’s beyond me people still aren’t giving him the praise he deserves. I read an article in one of the papers over the weekend and it had ‘10 surprise packages for the World Cup squad’ and he wasn’t in there!

I couldn’t believe it, it had under-23s players who’ve played just a couple of Premier League games. It was outrageous.

I genuinely believe at this moment in time Jose Sa is the best keeper in the league. All of a sudden a button has been hit and people start to recognise how good he is.

You’ve got to put his distribution up there with Alisson and Ederson, his shot-stopping too. His effect on Wolves is almost what Alisson did when he arrived at Anfield.

It’s Brentford away up next, people will expect Wolves to go and win. The hosts have been in poor form recently but they’ll be fighting for their lives.

I think the way they play will suit Wolves and they owe them one after that Molineux defeat earlier in the season, one of Wolves’ poorest displays, so hopefully there’s no sting in the tail!