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The four big hitters from Wolves' pre-season camp in Spain

Wolves’ pre-season trip to Spain has been a triumphant success as several first team stars caught the eye.

Bruno Lage’s side impressed in a new system and showed enough attacking flair to be optimistic about the start of the Premier League season.

Some players have just missed out on the four-man shortlist for stand-out players, including Morgan Gibbs-White, Raul Jimenez and Ruben Neves, which shows how much of a success the 12-day camp has been.

Daniel Podence

In a new position, Podence was the key link in attack. We did see the 26-year-old play briefly in the number 10 role for Wolves, in Nuno Espirito Santo’s last season, and he shone on his return to that set-up.

His low centre of gravity, close control and eye for a pass means he is perfect for that role.

It allows him to get closer to Jimenez, which in turn helps him, while he has the ability to roam freely and come out wide when necessary – occasionally swapping with Gibbs-White who also benefited from the freedom.

Perhaps more importantly, Podence has found his scoring touch. He scored against Burnley back at Compton before the Spain trip where he netted against both Alaves and Besiktas. If he continues that form into the season, he will be a key player for Wolves.

Pedro Neto

Neto looks sharp and back to his best following his injury nightmare. In fact, the winger told the Express & Star he wants to be even better, which is an exciting thing for any fan to hear.

Playing on the left he had the freedom of hugging the touchline and playing more narrower, depending on the full-back’s position. He looks quicker than ever and often ran in behind, with Neves finding him on several occasions.

Pedro Neto (Getty)

With two goals to his name over in Spain, his return to form will be crucial to a team who has struggled for goals.

Neto and Podence should be aiming for six to 10 goals this season, with the majority in the league. That will hugely boost Wolves’ chances of a good campaign.

Rayan Ait-Nouri

Ait-Nouri just pipped some of his defensive partners to this position, but he earned it with some scintillating displays.

He was defensively sound and was rarely caught out. Sometimes that is a prerequisite of pre-season friendlies, but he still dealt with the danger well.

Going forward he offered a brilliant option. Overlapping Neto, the forwards were able to find him in space and he acted as the perfect foil.

Rayan Ait-Nouri (Getty)

Equally, he also created a superb goal against Besiktas, when he nutmegged a defender and pulled the ball back for Podence.

Ait-Nouri is improving every year and perfectly suits what Lage wants from his full-backs or wing- backs.

Joao Moutinho

Neves was exceptional, but Moutinho deserves the plaudits for his incredible energy. We already knew that, as he proved it last season, but every year he continues to defy the odds. He turns 36 in September and at some point that will catch up with him, but he’s currently showing none of those signs.

Joao Moutinho (Getty)

Not only was his energy outstanding, but his range of passing, deft touches, positioning and intelligence on the field is mesmerising.

Yes, Wolves do need a midfield signing, but Moutinho deserves to be respected as an integral member of this squad.

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