New Wolverhampton Wanderers boss Julen Lopetegui has been tasked with trying to reverse the Midlands side’s current slump, with the Molineux outfit currently rock-bottom of the Premier League with just ten points from their opening 15 games.
The 56-year-old’s task has been made somewhat more difficult as a result of the transfer decisions that were made by his predecessor Bruno Lage over the summer, including allowing long-serving skipper Conor Coady to join top-flight rivals, Everton, on loan.
Another potential blunder that the former Benfica boss now looks to have made is the sale of promising youngster, Morgan Gibbs-White, with the highly-rated Englishman currently starring for the Old Gold’s relegation contenders, Nottingham Forest.
The 22-year-old playmaker – who was part of the England U17 side that won the World Cup back in 2017 – had risen up through the youth ranks at Wolves before forcing his way into the first-team ranks, although was unable to truly establish himself in the side, making just 12 Premier League starts for the club.
The Stafford-born sensation was allowed to join Sheffield United on loan for the 2021/22 campaign, ultimately scoring 12 goals and providing ten assists during a stellar stint with the Blades in the second tier as the club narrowly missed out on promotion.
A return to Lage’s squad back at his parent club had seemingly been deserved for the exciting asset, although Wolves subsequently agreed to the academy graduate’s departure to the City Ground for a reported fee of a staggering £42.5m.
Although that hefty price tag may have simply been too good to turn down, Lopetegui may now be ruing the fact that the club allowed such an “absolute gem” to move on – as described by journalist Daniel Storey – with Gibbs-White now flourishing in his new home.
The 5 foot 7 starlet has proven particularly impressive in recent weeks with two goals in his last two games, including the solitary strike last time out to help Steve Cooper’s side to a 1-0 triumph over Crystal Palace.
That has ensured that the England U21 international now has four goal involvements to his name so far this term, with only former teammate Ruben Neves able to match that tally for Wolves this season.
Such an impact for the Garibaldi has seen the versatile machine lauded as a “bargain” by journalist Callum Castel, with Ethan Lamb also noting that the player has been “worth every penny” despite his hefty cost.
It looks at present that Gibbs-White could be the man to help steer Forest to safety, with there potential for that to come at the expense of those at Molineux.
As such, Lopetegui could well be ruing the major blunder of Lage to allow the one-time Swansea City loanee to head for pastures new.