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Liam Keen comment: Morgan Gibbs-White loan could pay off with interest for Wolves

One of the biggest decisions Wolves face this summer is the future of Morgan Gibbs-White.

Morgan Gibbs-White. Picture: Zac Goodwin/PA Wire.
Morgan Gibbs-White. Picture: Zac Goodwin/PA Wire.

The 22-year-old has enjoyed a successful season on loan at Sheffield United, where he netted 12 goals and 10 assists in his 37 appearances.

He scored in Tuesday’s play-off semi-final second leg against Nottingham Forest, before ultimately missing the deciding penalty that saw United crash out – and their absence from the Premier League next season could work in Wolves’ favour.

Had United gained promotion, one of their first summer targets would have been Gibbs-White on a permanent transfer – a move that would have attracted the youngster – but it is now hard to believe he will play anywhere below the Premier League next season.

Although that will benefit Wolves, Gibbs-White will certainly not be short of suitors in the coming months – with AC Milan now linked – and Wolves have a decision to make.

Every transfer is a risk, whether domestic or otherwise, and although a player returning from loan is a different situation entirely, Wolves must take this calculated risk.

At present, Gibbs-White may demand a fee of around £15million after his impressive displays, but letting him go at this stage could be a mistake.

If he follows in the footsteps of Mason Mount and Harvey Barnes, Gibbs-White could be the latest Premier League star to forge his path in the Championship.

Jarrod Bowen is another. The second tier of English football is an excellent proving ground for talent and Wolves are now ready to reap the rewards.

It is important to remember that Gibbs-White was enjoying a good loan at Swansea before an injury setback and after his struggles on the pitch for Wolves – and his controversies off it – he seems to have matured as a professional.

It may not work out and in hindsight keeping him and not cashing in may be a mistake, but with the numbers he has provided this season he has earned the opportunity to force his way into this goal-shy Wolves side. Wolves could also do without another Pedro Goncalves-style mistake.

Despite all that, it will come down to game time. Bruno Lage wanted to keep Gibbs-White in the summer but he was adamant he wanted to play regularly, which Lage could not guarantee. The head coach then tried to bring him back in January but he was eager to return to United once he got over his small injury issue. If he is to return to Wolves for next season he will want assurances of game time and it may finally be time to give him that chance.

He could fit into system too, as either a narrow winger in a front three or as the third midfielder in the 3-5-2. Even if Lage makes a formation change, Gibbs-White could offer a creativity that Wolves have lacked at times this season.

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