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Sporting director Matt Hobbs: Julen Lopetegui was key in Joao Gomes' Wolves transfer

Sporting director Matt Hobbs has praised Julen Lopetegui's influence in convincing Joao Gomes to sign for Wolves.


The midfielder stood by his word and turned down French club Lyon to make his switch to the Premier League in a £15million move.

Gomes was determined to make his Molineux move, and Hobbs believes Lopetegui was integral to getting the deal done.

He said: “It’s the club, the way it’s sold to him; it’s the manager, it’s how he talks to them when he speaks to them and it’s the project and the Premier League.

"With who we are, it’s never going to be money, we’ll never sign players based on money, offering a better deal than somewhere else. We want players who want to come to us for who we are as a club and a city. I think the fans want players who represent them and their football club.

“What’s been great was that it wasn’t a player Julen was aware of himself before coming here. When we were talking about other players, we put him in as a player we liked, so he went away to watch his games and loved him, so has pushed from that minute.

“He’s been key in driving it, it was a player he wanted to bring in, and when he speaks to them, he’s phenomenal. The way he talks, with passion, passion he’s already got for the football club. This is a guy who has worked at some of the biggest clubs in the world, but the way he talks about our club, it makes you want to sign on the same call.”

The 21-year-old's arrival gives Wolves a plethora of midfield options and while Hobbs has called for patience to allow him to adapt, he believes he has the potential to go all the way.

Hobbs added: “He’s so happy, smiling, grateful, whilst at the same time, just wants to get going. All the other bits are over now, and he wants it to be about football.

“What’s interesting in the makeup of our squad, I think the boys from South America, of all the Premier League squads, see adapting to our environment as probably the easiest due to the languages and nationalities. We’ve got so many Spanish and Portuguese speakers, and his English is better than I expected, but our squad is full of good people with great family units. You couple the ease of the language, alongside the type of people in our environment, it makes it very easy to adapt.

“He’s got energy and is physical, he can play in a six or an eight, and has the Brazilian technicality. For us, it’s a player that has all the attributes to make it in the Premier League.

“I think we have to accept he’s a young boy coming from Brazil, into the best league in the world. He needs time to adapt and to get settled because his wife hasn’t travelled with him yet, she’ll be across in a couple of weeks, and he’s not played a game for two months. It’s their pre-season he’s just gone through, so he’s been training, but no games.

“We have to allow him time to settle, adapt and get his match fitness and speed up. For us, this is a long-term signing, someone we’re really excited about for the next few years and has all the ability to be a Brazilian national team player.”