Wolves dilemma with £38m Liverpool target could open the door for summer move

Julen Lopategui has struggled to get the best of the former Sporting Lisbon midfielder who has been linked with a move to Anfield.

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Liverpool recorded a comfortable 2-0 win over Wolves last night at Anfield as their top-four charge gained some momentum, but one of their midfield targets showed that he could be a perfect fit for Jurgen Klopp, despite his and Wolves’ apparant lack of connection so far.

Having been linked with a move last summer whilst still at Sporting Lisbon, Nunes opted to join Wolves alongside a strong Portuguese contingent, but things haven’t gone to plan so far.

The Portuguese midfielder is highly thought of and was tracked by Liverpool and Chelsea prior to his move to Wolves, plus he was also part of Portugal’s squad at the Qatar World Cup. However, Wolves’ lack of dynamism this season has held the midfielder back, with only Everton scoring fewer goals in the league this season.

Furthermore, reports from the Midlands suggest that all three managers that Wolves have had this season (Bruno Lage, Steve Davis and Lopategui) have all played the midfield out of position, with the former Sevilla manager content to play Nunes out wide on the left last night, when he’s more suited to a box-to-box role in central midfield.

He’s spent most of the season being dragged around different positions to try and get the best out of him and, as a result, we haven’t seen the best of him. Although, he was one of Wolves’ better players last night as he produced two key passes, completed 82% of his passes and managed three tackles and two interceptions.

According to former manager Davis, he believed Matheus was ‘too loose’ to play in midfield alongside Neves which has been proven by team selections from Lopategui who clearly has a similar view.

Thrown out wide across a 4-2-3-1 and 3-4-3 formation in their last two games against Liverpool and Fulham have brought little success and he was often seen playing in a double-pivot in a 3-4-3 for Sporting last season alongside the more defensive minded Joao Paulinha, who’s been a top performer for Fulham this year after his move.

His heatmap from last season show him operating in a central role, with a tendancy to drift to the left side of midfield - a position which is typically taken by Thiago or, prior to his signing, Georginio Wijnaldum.

He could certainly adjust into that type of system where he’s allowed to be free. This would certainly allow him to be loose, as he would have the protection of a defensive midfielder and another midfielder beside him.

Simply put, he’s clearly being held back at Wolves. A clear example of this was in the 26th minute as he somehow managed to dribble his way out of trouble past several Liverpool players from a seemingly dire situation.

Fabrizio Romano reported a few days ago that Nunes is alongside Jude Bellingham and Mason Mount as key midfield targets for their midfield rebuild and if Wolves’ form continues in the same vein, he may be a simple signing to complete that would benefit all parties involved.