Hugo Bueno eager to seize his big chance with Wolves
A Spanish revolution at Wolves is helping to bring through the next exciting young prospect.
In the last few weeks of the season before the World Cup break, Hugo Bueno made a big impact as he broke through into the starting XI.
Illness to Rayan Ait-Nouri away at Crystal Palace handed Bueno his first start, just days after he came on as a late substitute for his senior debut, and he has made the left-back position his own ever since.
But as a teenager arriving from Spain, home comforts have helped Bueno develop in old gold.
He arrived at Wolves from Areosa in 2019 and was converted from a winger or attacking midfielder into a left-wing-back.
Coming from the city of Vigo on the north west coast of Spain, it was first team defender Jonny Castro Otto who helped him settle in Wolverhampton.
"I am very close to Jonny because we are from the same area in Spain," Bueno said.
"We are both from Vigo and lived 15 minutes away from each other. It's crazy, but it's good.
"Every day I always learn something new, so it's really good to have these kind of players in your position.
"It's much easier to have this kind of team-mate next to you. Everything has been good so far.
"I'll keep working to see if I can achieve more things. Us young lads are doing a really good job and competing really well with the squad. I always try to learn."
Bueno rose through the academy ranks at Wolves and impressed Steve Davis during his time with the under-18s.
Then, in September this year, Bueno was officially moved up to the Wolves first team alongside Chem Campbell and Jackson Smith.
"It's fantastic. Training every day with the best players is always good," Bueno added.
"It's a really good challenge for me, to try and be better every day. I'm really happy and I'll keep working.
"I'm enjoying it a lot, from the beginning. I knew it was going to be a little bit hard. It was a big change for me when I was quite young.
"But as soon as I came here everything has been good from the beginning, from playing with the under-18s, the under-23s and now training and playing with the first team."
When Bruno Lage was sacked and Davis moved up to become interim head coach, Bueno was finally given his first team chance.
He has impressed in almost every second he has played and kept more experienced players out of the side as Davis has kept faith in the 20-year-old.
Despite this dream scenario, as he prepares to work with fellow Spaniard and new boss Julen Lopetegui, Bueno never doubted that he would get his chance.
He added: "I knew my opportunity would come. I was working hard every day – on and off the pitch – and if I didn’t play or get on the bench, I was still happy.
"When my chance came to get in the team, I knew I was ready because I have been working all these years. I am very happy to play now and to be on the pitch with my team-mates. I am really happy to have my opportunity and, hopefully, I will get more.
"Steve always gave me loads of confidence from the beginning. It’s a pleasure to work with him as well as James (Collins) and his team.
"From the beginning, when he came to the first team, he knew me very well, from the 18s and 23s. So, he knew that I could give something to the team to help them.
"He always tried to make me better. I remember in the 18s, if there was something he didn’t like then we would stay with me a bit longer and do some extra practise – crossing, or work on my right foot. All these things helped me to become a better player."
"So, when I had my opportunity, he knew I was ready. I’m very happy that he gave me the opportunity to play and now I’ll just try and win the games."