Wolves starting to rebuildBy: DJ | June 23rd, 2012
The disappointment of Premier League relegation is well behind Wolves now and all eyes are focused on whether new manager Stale Solbakken can build a team to challenge for a bounce back to the top flight at the first attempt. There are three new faces joining the players payroll already as it seems the club are set to repeat the policy of getting young and hungry players that formed the basis of McCarthy’s promotion team of 2009.
Bjorn Bergmann Sigurdarson will join the club on July 13th after the Norwegian season ends, for a fee just under £2.5m, as long as he doesn’t get injured in the meantime. Its to his great credit that he is continuing to do the business for his team Lillestrom despite the risk of the deal falling through and he scored his 12th goal in 14 games this season during the week. There are just 4 more games for him to play in Norway and then he will come to Wolves in time to join the pre season training camp in Southern Ireland that will culminate in a friendly at Bray Wanderers on July 21st. And like many Wolves fans I have just booked my flight to the Emerald Isle for a weekend of watching the new Wolves and consuming the Guiness.
Another new face to join Wolves is striker Frank Nouble. The London born player made quite an impact for the youth team at Chelsea with lots of goals and he is a strongly built player that many teams were interested in. Like most Chelsea youngsters he failed to make the break through into the first team squad and instead joined West Ham and got his first sample of Premier League football for them when coming on as a substitute for them at Molineux on the first day of the 2009/10 season. He made 13 appearances for the Hammers but his career stalled and he has had loans at 7 lower division clubs before eventually being released by West Ham on a free transfer. Wolves have taken the chance that they can resurrect the promise that was certainly there in his days as a Chelsea youth player.
And there is a defensive addition too with centre back James Tank joining for a £20,000 fee from local club Walsall. The 18 year old will join the academy players to start with and is one for the future, but has been highly rated at Walsall and we will watch his progress with interest.
The transfer market usually hots up during July with teams trying to add new faces that can play a full part in pre season with their new clubs and for Wolves there will doubtless be more incomings as well as a few departures over the coming weeks. I still expect Fletcher, Jarvis, Johnson and O’Hara to move on this summer and it appears Sunderland are leading the chase for Fletcher and Stoke for Jarvis. Wolves should recoup about £20m from the sale of those four players and I suspect less than half that some will be used to bring in new faces as the club faces the reality of the significantly reduced income that follows on from relegation.
As for additions then there may well be a couple more Scandinavians appearing as a result of the new manager’s contacts and then also some young lower division prospects in line with recent policies. The main signings may well, however, end up being a couple of loanees from the big Premier League clubs. A number of teams to get promoted in recent seasons have made good use of such players including Swansea and Norwich. Wolves may well be keen to offer a chance to Emmanuel Frimpong who made such a massive impression last season before picking up an injury that still sees him sidelined. But he hopes to be back in action around September and Arsenal may well be keen for him to get back playing out on loan, and he has openly said how much he enjoyed his time with Wolves.
For the time being we will pass the summer getting plenty of experience of rainy conditions, watching the Euros, and tuning in to the transfer gossip columns. Just eight weeks to go until we travel up to Leeds for the opening league game of the season, and I still hold ambitions that we will see the sun in the West Midlands on a couple of days between now and then.