There aren’t too many holes in this current Wolverhampton Wanderers side, which is why they were able to make the step up to the Premier League and finish seventh at the first time of asking last season.
However, you do wonder whether another top class centre back could be just what Nuno Espirito Santo needs to take his team to the next level. He already has two in Conor Coady and Willy Boly, but Ryan Bennett remains an average Premier League centre half at best.
The good news for the Wolves supporters, then, is that the club are seemingly looking to address that minuscule hole in the team. The Express & Star reported on Friday that the Midlands outfit are chasing Benfica centre back Ruben Dias this summer.
This signing would be quite the coup, and would represent Wolves sending a big statement to the rest of the Premier League that they aren’t content with what they did last time out.
The 22-year-old is extremely highly rated and consequently has a release clause of £57million. Initial discussions have taken place between the two clubs, and the player is represented by Jorge Mendes, which is always a good sign from a Wolves point of view.
TiF Tactics – Does Dias provide something different?
This is the big question for Santo. He already has a nuts and bolts defender in Bennett, a sweeper in Coady and someone who does a little bit of everything in Boly, and so what the Wolves fans will want to know is does Dias do anything differently to the others?
Well, the statistics would appear to suggest that he does. As per WhoScored.com, the 22-year-old was clearly the best passer out of the group of four centre halves we are looking at.
Dias had a superior number of average passes per game, as well as possessing the best pass success rate at 86.3% last term. That’s an incredible tally, and Coady is the only Wolves man who really got close to it. That suggests that he would fit in well to Wolves’ current style of play, perhaps even taking them further towards a possession-based style.
The Portugal international was also the only one to register an assist last campaign, and the only man to average anything in the through ball per game category. Clearly this is a defender who, when he receives possession, looks to move it forward instead of merely passing sidewards to his fellow defenders.
With that said, it would seem that Dias does indeed provide a different quality which this Wolves backline has been missing, while he would appear to be far better suited to Nuno’s style of play than Bennett, whose place he would surely take.
What’s he done?
Dias would bring a winning mentality with him to Molineux, having tasted Primeira Liga success with Benfica last season and UEFA Nations League glory with his country this summer.
The youngster was the Man of the Match in the Nations League final victory over the Netherlands, while he was named in the Team of the Tournament, as well. Furthermore, he claimed the Primeira Liga Young Player of the Year award in 2017/18.