Wolves August Review: impressive start

With a two-week break from the Championship for internationals, this is a good time to review how all 24 teams have looked in their first five league games. Here’s our assessment of Wolverhampton Wanderers.

What we said in pre-season

“Much-needed defensive improvements have been made. Ruben Neves adds quality in midfield, even if the attack still needs freshening up. It may take time to introduce a new style, but there are signs that the club is modernizing off the field so on it, they should progress. 10th

Have they surprised us?

There was no doubting the quality of their signings, the question was how quickly the new players would integrate and settle in a new country. The run of three straight league wins with which they started the campaign answered that question emphatically.

The positives

The wing-back system has clicked from the off. Barry Douglas impressed prior to injury and Ruben Vinagre has proved an able deputy on the left. Conor Coady has needed no time to adjust to a centre-back role, alongside sturdy summer signings Roderick Miranda and Willy Bolly. Ruben Neves controls the midfield in most games, aided by the more destructive Romain Saiss.

The negatives

Based on the 3-2 win at Hull, there is room for improvement on their defending of set pieces. There is also a lot of pressure right now on  Matt Doherty to play a physically demanding right wing-back role every week. Leo Bonatini has had a good start but he isn’t particularly quick and remains the club’s only striker.

Late business?

Bonatini could be joined up top by Jordan Rhodes or namesake Hugill, the former with a proven strike-rate at this level, the latter providing more team-centred qualities. Another Jordan could be on his way out, winger Graham linked with Leicester, but Newcastle midfielder Jack Colback is a target.

The Football Lab’s Grade

An excellent start, providing they can bounce back from the last two league results. B