Wolves: Giles could be Alex Sandro 2.0

Wolverhampton Wanderers are taking shape under the tutelage of Julen Lopetegui, who replaced the dismissed Bruno Lage in November, and has since rectified the poor start to the season with results on the pitch and a promising January transfer window.

From the ten matches the new manager has led from the dugout, victory has only been tasted three times, with the most recent 3-0 victory over Liverpool in the Premier League an embodiment of the hard graft put in to steady the ship and navigate back on course after falling into a relegation scrap thus far this season.

Does Giles deserve a chance?

Yes

Yes

No

No

And while the grass ahead looks greener than it did several months ago, moves must be made to solidify the club’s position in the top division over the next few years, and left-back Ryan Giles, currently on loan at Middlesbrough, must be considered for a prominent role next season.

As per Sofascore, Hugo Bueno and Rayan Ait-Nouri, the regular presences down the defensive left flank for the Old Gold this term, have recorded average ratings of 6.67 and 6.71 respectively, hardly evoking confidence, and while both stars are young and hold an abundance of promise when assessing the prospective trajectory of the rest of their careers at Molineux, Lopetegui might be yearning for a figure to arise and truly make the left-back his position his own.

And this is why Giles must finally be offered a shot at the first team in Wolverhampton; now 23-years-old, the Englishman has not featured for his parent club since the 2018/19 season, where he made his one and only appearance in the FA Cup against Shrewsbury.

Having made 31 appearances across all competitions for Boro this season, registering eight assists, Giles is emerging as an effective offensive outlet down the left, combining creativity with intelligence and finally starting to cement his stature and stake a claim for a shot at the top-flight.

And with Giles recording an average rating of 7.05 this term, he is evidently starting to forge a level of consistency that bodes well for his chances at a shot under Lopetegui’s wing.

Having created an incredible 15 big chances, averaging two key passes per match and completing 80% of his total passes, he could indeed be the force Wolves cry for, having scored only 15 goals in the Premier League this season, the lowest in the division.

He could in fact mould into Lopetegui’s next Alex Sandro, such is the attacking prowess of his game; Sandro made 41 appearances under the current Molineux boss at FC Porto, scoring a goal and serving six assists, and has since gone on to ply his trade for Juventus, winning five Serie A titles and four Coppa Italia’s among other honours.

Lauded for both his speed and his attacking intent, particularly flourishing with the accuracy and deadliness of his crosses, Lopetegui will know all about how to utilise a full-back with an offensive mind, and as such, Giles simply must be offered a punt.

Lauded by former Middlesbrough boss Tony Mowbray upon his arrival last summer, he was praised for his attributes and predicted to make a marked improvement to the squad.

Mowbray said: “The Championship can catch people out if you’ve never played in it but he’s taken to the league very comfortably. He’s got a wonderfully cultured left foot, he’s a good footballer and he’s athletic, he’s just what we require.”

Say it quietly, but Wolves might just have rekindled their verve under Lopetegui, and while progress is still elementary when considering the grand scope of the Spanish manager’s plans for the outfit, a bundle of creativity such as Giles could be the key to injecting life and vibrancy into the side for years to come.