Wolverhampton Wanderers have one game remaining of the Premier League season, and are reportedly looking ahead to the summer transfer window.
The Midlands side have endured a rollercoaster of a campaign, going from the lows of Bruno Lage’s final moments in his reign, to Julen Lopetegui’s impressive turnaround of fortunes at Molineux.
The Spaniard has made significant improvements since his arrival in November, however, the issue of goal-scoring has not been something the former Real Madrid boss has been able to relieve since joining mid-season.
With the transfer window presenting Lopetegui with the chance to make his own amendments to the squad, a number of forwards have been linked already with a move to Molineux, with one La Liga starlet part of an ongoing saga.
What’s the latest on Ansu Fati to Wolves?
As reported earlier this month by Spanish news outlet Sport (via Sport Witness), Wolves hold an interest in Barcelona forward Ansu Fati, in what could be a potential €30m (£26m) swap deal including Ruben Neves.
Earlier this week, it was revealed by The Athletic, that the 20-year-old has been mentioned as a “possible player” to make the switch to Molineux so Neves could depart to Catalonia.
The deal simmers down to whether the Portuguese ace goes to Barcelona, and importantly if Fati accepts a move to Molineux, with the player’s father insistent that he wants his son to move on – as per Spanish radio outlet COPE.
What could Ansu Fati bring to Wolves?
Once described as potentially being Barcelona’s heir to Lionel Messi, the 20-year-old was the club’s next big thing when he made his debut at 16 years old against Real Betis in 2019.
Hailed by Xavi as “extraordinary”, the forward has limitless potential in the game, however, has been deprived of game time at Camp Nou due to injury and competition within the squad.
The £199k-per-week youngster could be a star man under Lopetegui, who favours playing a system with traditional wingers playing to the touchline and imposing a 1v1 threat.
Likened by FBref to Arsenal hero Gabriel Martinelli, the Bissau-born ace could be the Spanaird’s answer to the young Brazilian in the Premier League, as communicated by his statistics.
The Gunners’ forward has started 34 of his 36 appearances in the league this season, with Ansu Fati making just 11 starts in 34 in La Liga, explanatory to the difference in goals scored, with Martinelli netting a phenomenal 15 goals this term to the latter’s seven.
However, over an average of 90 minutes in the past year, the two are extremely similar in their effectiveness in game plan, both being go-to men in the box due to their abilities on the ball.
As per FBref, the Brazilian averages 6.99 touches in the attacking penalty area per 90, putting him in the top 3% of Europe’s top five leagues in his position, with Fati ranging in the top 2%, with 7.73 per 90.
Similar statistics that showcase their attributes in being direct and dangerous on the wing is the number of progressive passes received, highlighting their advanced positioning to cause havoc.
FBref shows that Martinelli receives an average of 11.29 progressive passes per 90, with the Barcelona youngster scoring marginally less in that area with 10.54.
The two forwards are comparatively prolific from wide areas, telling of the magnitude of the Spaniard’s talent relating to an established Premier League star.
In Lopetegui’s system, the 20-year-old could blossom into a real threat, though in being part of a complicated deal, only time will tell if he will reside at Molineux next season.