Date: 26th January 2021 at 6:30pm
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The Athletic’s Tim Spiers has cast doubt over Joao Moutinho’s future as a first-team regular with Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Back in the summer of 2018, Nuno Espirito Santo sealed the arrival of the Portuguese midfielder from AS Monaco for just £5.04m (as per Transfermarkt).

Since then, he has gone on to make 120 appearances for the Old Gold, in which he has managed to bag two goals and provide 21 assists for teammates.

This season, though, his influence appears to have waned as he has neither scored nor provided an assist over 19 appearances in all competitions.

During the latest episode of The Athletic’s The Molineux View podcast, Spiers aired his thoughts on every player in Wolves’ squad and cast doubt over Moutinho.

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To kick off this quiz on Joao Moutinho, what squad number does the midfielder currently wear for Wolves?

He said: “I think you’ve got to question if this is his final season, certainly as a first-choice player.

“I think he’d be good to have around the squad, he’s important in the dressing room, but [not] as a first choice. He’s 35 this year, he can still have an impact on games, but not nearly as regularly as he was doing it before.”

Spiers later continued: “He’s never been one that’s had to rely on pace and strength, so in terms of age and losing physical presence, I’m not sure that should really be affecting him.

“It’s more that he’s just not controlling the tempo of games anymore, he used to have teams on a string in that first season in the Premier League, but he’s lost that.

“I think [Ruben] Neves has outshone him this season, which wasn’t the case two years ago, and it’s hard to see where he recovers it now.”

TIF Thoughts on what Tim Spiers said about Joao Moutinho…

As can be seen in what the journalist had to say, he believes that Moutinho may no longer be the player he was when Wolves first signed him in 2018.

Do Wolves need to find a replacement for Joao Moutinho in the summer?

No, he's still good enough

No, he's still good enough

Yes, I think we do sadly

Yes, I think we do sadly

Certainly, the difference between the midfielder’s performances this term and last season is night and day as he has been far worse this term.

Last season, he was Wolves’ fourth-best player in the Premier League with a 7.01/10 average rating (per WhoScored), this campaign he has been their joint-ninth-worst player with a 6.46/10.

In terms of chances created, he was Wolves’ most creative player last term with 2.0 key passes per match, whereas this season he has only been the fourth-most creative with 1.2 an outing.

So, it is clear to see how rapidly the midfielder’s influence is waning for the Old Gold.