This article is part of Football FanCast’s Transfer Focus series, which provides opinion and analysis on recent transfer news…
According to the Express & Star, Wolves are on the verge of completing the £20m transfer of Patrick Cutrone from AC Milan with the Italy international expected to complete a medical on Tuesday.
What’s the word?
Wolves are expected to finalise the signing the 21-year-old this week after the two clubs reached a deal as well as agreeing personal terms with the player.
Cutrone exited AC Milan’s pre-season preparations early last week in order to sort out a deal.
The Express & star report that Wolves will pay £16m up front with £4m coming from add-ons over the next few seasons.
There has only been one major addition this summer in the West Midlands after Real Madrid’s young centre-back Jesus Vallejo joined the club on a season-long loan, adding to the permanent acquisitions of last season’s impressive loan duo Leander Dendoncker and Raul Jimenez.
How does it affect their leading line?
It’s not unreasonable to suggest that manager Nuno Espirito Santo relied on the exploits of Jimenez and his regular strike partner Diogo Jota throughout large spells of last season – between them they scored nearly 50% of their Premier League total (22 of 47) with Jimenez netting 13 goals from 38 appearances and Jota scoring nine from 33.
Therefore it would seem that an alternative option is required with the club embarking on a historic Europa League campaign whilst also looking to improve on last season’s seventh place finish. This not only means additional games are likely but also that a step up in quality is required.
At times this pre-season even young midfielder Morgan Gibbs-White has played in centre-forward role which could suggest that Nuno has been trying contingency plans incase either Jimenez or Jota face a spell on the sidelines or even get suspended.
That could be solved with the imminent addition of the 21-year-old.
Cutrone had a breakthrough year in the 2017/18 campaign where he scored 16 goals in 46 matches and followed that up last season with nine goals in 43 appearances – some of which came in the Europa League meaning he will add further European pedigree to the West Midlands.
It is quite unlikely that the 6 foot striker knocks either Jimenez or Jota out of the side entirely, but instead he will come as a solid alternative option having been regarded as a classic number nine with a strong work ethic and good aerial ability – similar to the attributes that the 6 foot 3 Jimenez possesses.
The arrival of Cutrone should do wonders for Wolves’ squad depth especially as the season draws on, should they make the Europa League group stages, they’ll need to dig deep and rely on more than just their regular starting line-up.