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Wolves boss Bruno Lage concerned with wing options due to injury crisis

Bruno Lage is concerned with the lack of ‘impact’ in his forward options as Wolves suffer from an injury crisis.

Wolverhampton Wanderers' Hwang Hee-chan
Wolverhampton Wanderers' Hwang Hee-chan

Pedro Neto is still recovering from his knock and is not expected to return for another month, while Hwang Hee-chan is still a couple of weeks away.

Following Adama Traore’s transfer move Wolves have been left with just two senior wingers in Daniel Podence and Francisco Trincao and may be forced into giving opportunities to youngsters Chiquinho and Chem Campbell.

“At the moment we don’t have too many solutions and for now the wingers are our problem,” Lage said.

“At centre-back we will find solutions in our squad. Some of the players can play there and play well. During these two months we have been preparing Max (Kilman) to play in the middle, Ki-Jana (Hoever) and Leander (Dendoncker) can play on the right, Marcal can play on the left.

“In midfield I believe (Luke) Cundle can replace anyone because he is a good player.

“Now I just have two wingers and I don’t have anyone on the bench to give that impact.

“That’s why we are working with Chiquinho and Chem to give us what the other guys give us.

“I put these two kids on the same level. Chem has been working with us since the first day and has the same profile.”

Neto has been missing all season following his broken kneecap injury last April, with several setbacks keeping him out of the team.

But Wolves now hope he will return to team training this month ahead of his long-awaited return.

“Pedro is still out and will take one more month to return,” Lage added.

“I called him at the beginning of the week to come to the meetings. Now he’s involved in the meetings to try to understand the way we play. He’s started working outside with the physios. Now we need to give him time. The good news is it was an injury to the bone so it’s not so traumatic.

“The plan is one more month for him and 15 days for Hwang.

“I think he (Neto) will start (team training) in the middle of the month. It depends on him, what the plan is in one month, then he can start to join the team, go to the bench and have some minutes.

“We need to go day by day.

“Hwang has started working with us at the beginning in the warm ups for 20 minutes and then he goes also to train with the physios.”

Yerson Mosquera, Willy Boly and Jonny Castro Otto are also long-term absentees – and the latter is creeping closer to a return following two ACL injuries.

Lage added: “Yerson is in the same way, but he will need more time to recover. He’s doing warm ups and working 15 minutes with the team, before finishing his work with the physios.

“Boly is outside also training with his physios.

“Jonny is in full training but he’s not ready to play games. He needs maybe a couple of weeks to be ready to compete but he’s doing full sessions.”

Traore made a dream return to boyhood club Barcelona in January, on an initial loan deal until the end of the season with a £29million option.

Although Lage was coy on whether he believes the Spanish club will take up that option, he did concede that the club needed to ‘protect themselves’ after discussions over a new deal with Traore stalled.

Lage said: “I was very happy with all four wingers because they gave me a lot of things – Trincao, Hwang, Daniel and Adama.

“I said in the beginning, he started the season very well and should have scored three or four goals with the way he created chances.

“Then he had some games where he didn’t play so well. But the one thing is, from the first day to the last day, he worked so hard and was very professional. I was so happy with him.

“He gave us a big impact in the last month when he jumped from the bench.

“In the end we need to understand the club was talking with him over a new contract. I think one year is plenty of time to reach an agreement with him.

“The player had his own ideas so the club found a way to protect themselves if Adama went to the end of the season with just one year.

“What I saw from Adama, especially in the last month – creating chances, assisting, scoring goals – I believe he has everything to have success in his hometown club.

“I was happy with him, but I understand the club. We must wish Adama all the best.”

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