Talking Wolves presenter and BBC Sport contributor Dave Azzopardi has voiced his frustrations at the club’s lack of options at striker.
Bruno Lage’s Premier League preparations suffered a considerable setback when The Telegraph’s Midlands reporter John Percy revealed that talisman Raul Jimenez could miss up to eight weeks of action after suffering a knee injury.
The 31-year-old will be out for at least a month, leaving Lage with a huge problem at the top end of the pitch.
Patrick Cutrone and Leo Bonatini are both still at the club and are seen as recognised centre-forwards, however, neither kicked a ball for the Old Gold last term, while Hwang Hee-Chan has only just returned to training following a hip injury.
While Pedro Neto or Daniel Podence could be deployed as makeshift false nines, Azzopardi isn’t convinced.
Speaking on Football Daily’s ‘Transfer Talk’ on Twitter Spaces, he said: “I think Podence or Neto are capable, but for me, whenever I’ve seen them – especially this pre-season – play up front, Wolves just don’t look as good as they did with someone with a little bit of height, a proper number nine up there, which is why I’m a little bit frustrated and disappointed that we haven’t got anyone there.
“Hwang, Neto, Podence – they’re all options, but for me, they’re stopgaps.
“Wolves really need to get a proper number nine in.”
TIF Thoughts on Wolves…
Do you think Benteke would be good for Wolves?
Jimenez finished as the club’s joint-leading goalscorer in the Premier League last season with six goals, and his absence will no doubt be felt, which may force Fosun into the market.
With a rocky opener at Leeds United fastly approaching, a solution will need to be found sooner rather than later, but it remains to be seen whether a new face arrives to cope with Jimenez’s loss.