Julen Lopetegui is a manager the teams near the bottom of the league should be fearing, as he can save Wolves from relegation according to Kevin Hatchard.
The former Sevilla boss was appointed following the sacking of Bruno Lage and took charge of the team during the World Cup break.
His first Premier League game ended in delight, as his side snatched a 95th-minute winner away at Everton to jump from 20th to 18th in the table, and there is already a sense of optimism around the club as they have also agreed a deal to sign Matheus Cunha from Atletico Madrid.
Speaking on the TalkSPORT Gameday Podcast, Hatchard claimed that Lopetegui is an elite manager, and that Wolves will be good enough under his coaching to survive the drop, when he was asked if “the teams near the bottom should be worried about Wolves.”
“I think they’ll be fine. I think the quality is there,” he stated.
“What we know about Lopetegui is he can organise a defence, he did that very well with Sevilla – the only reason it fell apart with Sevilla was because he lost all of his best players.
“Kounde moved on, Diego Carlos moved on to Villa, so you lose your two best centre-backs, you’re going to struggle, aren’t you?
“I talked about Van Gaal being the star of the show for the Netherlands across the World Cup. I feel like that for Wolves now. They’ve got a genuine elite coach who I think can drag them out of trouble and keep them safe.”
TIF thoughts on Wolves and Lopetegui…
Given that they are now just one point away from safety following their vital win at Everton, it seems highly likely that Wolves will survive thanks to the appointment of the Spaniard.
The squad has a lot of untapped potential, with international stars such as Ruben Neves and Joao Moutinho having Cunha added to them, and perhaps a coach with the pedigree of Lopetegui can help unlock them.
The teams near the drop zone should definitely be worried now, as they may not possess enough quality in their squads to finish above Wolves, and coaches such as Nathan Jones at Southampton and Frank Lampard at Everton are less experienced than Lopetegui.