Wolves legend Steve Bull has slammed on-loan left-back Rayan Ait-Nouri for one aspect of his game that he thinks is holding him back this season.
The 19-year-old, who is now valued at £18 million (as per Transfermarkt), joined the club last summer on an initial loan deal with the option to turn it permanent for a reported €15m, although whether or not he’s done enough to prove his worth is still up in the air. The fact that he hasn’t been a regular in the first-team this season might hint that his place next season isn’t totally assured.
Something that you think wouldn’t upset Bull all that much, as he, speaking exclusively to Football FanCast, criticised the Frenchman for his size and stature, claiming that he doesn’t come across as strong enough for the Premier League:
“In my eyes, he just looks a bit out of his depth. I’ve watched him a few times and he does get up and down the wing a bit, but he just looks a bit lightweight to me and I don’t think he’s getting a lot of chances so his confidence is low.
“Whether they keep him or not beyond the end of the season I don’t know because he just looks young and a bit immature. In a team, you need someone who is a like-for-like replacement when somebody else drops out the side like and he just looks a bit lightweight to me.”
Would you like to see Wolves take up the €15m option to buy clause for Ait-Nouri?
Bull’s comments might come across as a little bit harsh when you consider that he is only 19-years-old, and in a league that is notorious for its physicality, most players his age are likely going to struggle.
And once he has had a season to adjust and perhaps work out how to play ‘smarter’ in this division, then it’s possible he comes back next season that little bit better and more capable. He’s got just a few more weeks to show it, and then give Wolves a decision to make regarding that option they have.
In other news: Football chief drops Jorge Mendes verdict at Wolves