Wolves blog: Club must allow promising youth to flourish
Wolves’ strength in depth is pretty much unrivalled in the Championship.
With 29 first-team players to choose from, and the likes of Ben Marshall, Prince Oniangue and Michal Zyro not even getting a sniff, there really isn’t much chance for the ‘starlets’ at Molineux at the moment, writes Tom Tracey.
Nobody can really argue with the fact that Nuno has such a strong squad that are performing fantastically – even players such as Danny Batth and Helder Costa are being kept out of the starting line-up.
But the potential of some of the club’s youngsters must not be forgotten.
Wolves have a host of talented players, such as Harry Burgoyne, Connor Ronan, Morgan Gibbs-White and Donovan Wilson, who are playing for the Under-23s.
All four made their first-team debuts around a year ago now, and Wilson has already scored for Wolves this season - and he netted a hat-trick in a 4-2 win against Southampton Under 23s this week.
Throw in some of the other players signed more recently – Sherwin Seedorf and Pedro Goncalves among others – and there are some players who, in different circumstances, could push their way into first-team squad contention.
The four British players mentioned each have a decent handful of Wolves appearances and it is probably Ronan and Gibbs-White who would be top of the ‘potential’ list.
Where they both fit in with Wolves’ current formation is difficult – the formations of previous regimes perhaps suited those two players better than the current 3-4- 3.
Nobody is doubting their ability, but if Wolves cannot give them opportunities, perhaps it is time to let them fly the nest and test their wings in January.
A lot of these players could easily get regular first team football in League One – unfortunate Niall Ennis was set to be given an opportunity at Shrewsbury before injury curtailed his loan.
If they are to reach their potential, which in most of those mentioned’s cases could be in and around the first team in future, they need regular game time.
Under-23s Head Coach Scott Sellars has regularly expressed his lack of belief in that development league as a useful test for players.
It’s time to see whether they can sink or swim.
If they flourish and make it at Wolves, great – if they don’t, the club would be looking to cash in on their investment anyway.
The only exception, a player who has gotten closest to the first team and regularly makes the 18-man squad, is Bright Enobakhare.
You would hope he has learned from his AWOL spell, but he seems very much a confidence player at times and keeping a close eye on him within the club may be the best bet.
Beneath Wolves’ glittering surface of stars, there is definitely a promising batch of players in the pipeline.
The club have invested so much into the youth system, and there are players in there who are the dividends of the hard work and investment.