Wolves: Dave Azzopardi concerned by recognised centre-forward options

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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.”

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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.

The Sun revealed that the West Midlanders could look to Christian Benteke in their hour of need, with journalist Ryan Taylor of the impression that he could certainly be a useful option.

Edin Dzeko is also thought to be on the club’s watchlist, although transfer expert Dean Jones isn’t convinced the club are able to pull a move off for the former Manchester City ace.

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.

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