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Wolves blog: Loan list is a reminder of how far we’ve come

By Tom Tracey | Wolves opinion & debate | Published:

For years, much has been made of Chelsea’s extensive list of players who depart on loan each year.

Danny Batth (AMA/Sam Bagnall)

Season upon season, we have heard how the Stamford Bridge club sends an army of youth and fringe players to a variety of clubs both in England and abroad.

This transfer window Wolves followed suit, sending a squad’s worth of players out on loan to various clubs in various countries.

Looking at the names who have departed Molineux, you can see how far Wolves have come in such a short time – and how a lot of these players are victims of the club’s success.

Of the nine players who left on deadline day on 31st August, Danny Batth and Bright Enobakhare were the two who could feel most aggrieved, having both played a part in last season’s title win.

But this summer, club captain Batth had fell arguably to seventh in the pecking order for defence: current defensive trio Willy Boly, Conor Coady and Ryan Bennett all had Kortney Hause, Romain Saiss and Leander Dendoncker as backup before Danny would be in with a chance.

Danny was pivotal in Wolves’ resurgence in that 2013/14 season in League One, becoming a figurehead in Kenny Jackett’s invigorated squad.

There was talk of him becoming a potential England international at the time, and as Wolves nearly reached the playoffs the following season, Danny was still well regarded.

But Wolves’ progress stagnated in the subsequent two seasons, and Danny found himself out of favour under Nuno – the fact he wasn’t chosen against Sheffield Wednesday spoke volumes.

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A loan to Middlesbrough is a good move for such a committed, experienced player and he will surely find the net a few times as a bonus.

Bright Enobakhare managed a decent number of games last season, and was given plenty of chances at the start of the campaign, until Ivan Cavaleiro took his starting berth back.

You can’t help but feel that the Carabao Cup tie against Man City, in which Bright had multiple gilt-edged chances to win the game, was a pivotal moment for the player.

It’s too early to close the door fully on Bright – a loan to Kilmarnock (300 miles away) is unusual, considering how the club have previously, to an extent, wrapped him in cotton wool.

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Others, such as Joe Mason, Michal Zyro and Connor Ronan, have all performed on occasions in a gold shirt. But with Wolves moving from a mid-table Championship team with little transfer budget to a team who would consider consolidation in their first top-flight campaign as a disappointment, they are victims of circumstance.

We once pinned our future hopes on prolific assister Jordan Graham, but a 15-month injury and a subsequent fruitless loan spell at Fulham left Graham in limbo – hopefully he finds his groove at Ipswich and gets his career back on track.

Wolves’ new partnership with FC Jumilla is reminiscent of Chelsea’s deal with Dutch club Vitesse.

A remarkable nine players have gone overseas to aid their development – interestingly, the majority are British players. Whether Wolves are hoping to add something different to their game, this isn’t a commonly-trodden path but is definitely worth keeping an eye on.

Tom Tracey

By Tom Tracey

Wolves blogger

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