Lopetegui could land a huge Neto upgrade in Wolves swoop for “world-class” £88.2m star – opinion

    Wolves are reportedly interested in signing Barcelona winger Ousmane Dembele in January and the Frenchman could be a big upgrade on Pedro Neto in Julen Lopetegui’s side.

    According to Spanish news outlet Mundo Deportivo, Wolves, Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea are all interested in signing the pacey winger in January, with the Catalan club’s precarious financial situation meaning that he could be available, despite his superb form under Xavi in the 2022/23 campaign.

    The report claims that Dembele has a release clause of around €100m (£88.2m), although if Barcelona are forced to sell, you would hope that Wolves would be able to bring him in for far less next month.

    So far this season, the former Borussia Dortmund man has contributed an impressive five goals and seven assists in all competitions for Barcelona, averaging a strong 7.33 rating from WhoScored for his performances in La Liga.

    For context, no player in Wolves’ squad has avergaed above a 7/10 rating from WhoScored for their performances in the Premier League so far this term, which emphasises the quality he could add at Molineux.

    Should he arrive in January, he would likely compete with Neto for a starting spot on the right-wing, once the Portuguese wideman returns from the injury that has sidelined him for much of the season so far.

    In his eight appearances in the top flight, the former Lazio man has averaged a disappointing 6.58 rating from WhoScored, contributing no goals and just one assist.

    Dembele has also averaged far more shots (2.1 vs 1.4), key passes (2.2 vs 1.6) and passes (32.3 vs 24.3) per game than Neto this campaign, which suggests that he would be a big improvement on the wing for Lopetegui, as he looks to solve the Old Gold’s attacking woes, which leave them bottom of the top flight with just eight goals to their name.

    Former manager Ernesto Valverde was full of praise for the 25-year-old earlier in the season, after he notched a goal and three assists in a 4-0 thrashing of Athletic Bilbao.

    He simply said:  “Dembélé is a world-class player.”

    While Neto can be a top player on his day, his form this season has been a world away from world-class, so Lopetegui should definitely look to bring in Dembele in next month’s January transfer window, as he could prove crucial in keeping the Midlands club in the Premier League.

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