Since manager Nuno Espírito Santo took over the reins of Wolverhampton Wanderers ahead of the 2017-18 season, he has added a wealth of Portuguese-based talent among his ranks, Nelson Semedo is set to become the next in line.
His side are reportedly close to finalising a five-year deal for Barcelona right-back and Portugal international Nélson Semedo, according to Italian journalist Fabrizio Romano, and the former Benfica defender will certainly feel right at home.
Nélson Semedo’s strengths and weaknesses
Semedo will seemingly be the direct replacement for Matt Doherty, who signed for Tottenham Hotspur earlier this summer. The Portuguese is a player that loves to get forward, like his predecessor, possesses pace, skill and a fearlessness to get past opponents.
He will certainly thrive in a wing-back position at Wolves, given his overall attacking prowess, but no longer at a side that would usually dominate possession, his defensive weaknesses could get exposed.
Although his defensive attributes aren’t as strong as his attacking, which was demonstrated in their 8-2 defeat to eventual Champions League victors Bayern Munich, he is disciplined and knows when to get forward, and when to stay back and defend.
Under the watchful eye of his new manager, he could certainly improve further and become one of the latest Portuguese success stories at the club.
His move to Barcelona from As Águias in 2017 didn’t excite as much as hoped for, with just 13 goal involvements from 124 appearances for the Blaugrana. Yet, he still helped to secure two La Liga titles, the Copa Del Rey and a Supercopa de España success.
He has European tournament experience and has played alongside and against many of the Wolves contingent, both at international and club level. He won the UEFA Nations League tournament with Portugal in 2019 and won two Liga NOS titles with Benfica.
Nuno can nurture Nelson Semedo
The influence of Espírito Santo on his fellow country-men and former Liga NOS contingent has already worked wonders for The Wanderers.
He has helped with the emergence of former Porto talents Rúben Neves and new Liverpool forward Diogo Jota. The duo played an integral role in securing Premier League promotion, via a first place finish in the Championship.
Since making the English top-flight, Wolves attracted the latter ‘Luso’ additions of João Moutinho, Rui Patrício, Ivan Cavaleiro (now at Fulham) and Hélder Costa (now at Leeds United), creating a ‘mini-Portugal’ in the heart of the Midlands.
He lured former Benfica forward Raúl Jiménez to a permanent deal in April 2019 and the Mexican spear-headed the predominantly Portuguese side to successive seventh place finishes. The first of which, secured Europa League football – their first European involvement in 38 years.
Last season, Espírito Santo’s men also acquired compatriots Pedro Neto and Daniel Podence, who helped set a new club-record points tally of 59.
With Fábio Silva and Vitinha already signed this summer, Nelson Semedo could be the next Portuguese star to light up the Premier League.
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