Wolverhampton Wanderers have completed their third signing of the summer transfer window, bolstering their attacking options. Goncalo Guedes finally joins Wolves from Valencia, with The Telegraph reporting interest as early as April. The BBC reports a £27.5 million fee has been agreed.
The 25-year-old arrives in Wolverhampton, where he will be surrounded by a number of his international colleagues. In fact, he will become the ninth Portuguese player in Bruno Lage's first team squad. Guedes was in the same UEFA Nations League winning squad as Ruben Neves, Joao Moutinho, Nelson Semedo and Jose Sa.
It is no secret that Wolves have lacked fire power in recent years, but is he the man to solve these issues?
Valencia's star man
Guedes leaves Valencia after five years on the Spanish east coast, scoring 36 goals and recording 30 assists. Los che finished ninth last year, 14 points behind European qualification. Without their star man, they could have slipped further down the table.
Guedes has the ability to play on either flank, as well as in a central role. While finding his feet in professional football, he was deployed on the left wing, before spending the majority of the 2021/22 campaign as a striker. 13 goals and six assists saw Valencia become reliant on the 25-year-old, who produced his most productive season to date.
Guedes scored his first ever professional header last season, going on to score three in total, suggesting that he had adapted his game to suit the role of a more traditional striker.
Wolves' attacking struggles
Over the past two Premier League seasons, Wolves have scored just 74 goals, less than a goal per game. Raul Jimenez has been the club's top scorer during this period with 10 goals, despite playing just 44 of the 76 games available.
Defeat at Leeds on Saturday was harsh on a Wolves side that looked to take the game to their opposition. A positive attacking mentality is something that Wolves have lacked in the past two seasons, leading to the significant downfall in output.
Supporters will be hoping that Guedes will look to take responsibility in the penalty area and unleash shots on goal. Wolves have fallen into a habit of playing attractive football in the final third without creating clear-cut chances. By simply shooting more often, Molineux's latest arrival could make a huge impact.
Fitting into a new system
Versatility is a key trait of Bruno Lage's attack, with Pedro Neto, Daniel Podence and Morgan Gibbs-White all able to play various positions. As showcased in the early weeks of the season, Wolves' attacking trio tend to rotate during matches, attempting to pull opposition defenders away from goal.
At first, Lage may play his new man as a striker in the absence of Jimenez. Hwang Hee-Chan played at Elland Road on Saturday but may be the man to make way for Guedes. It is yet to be seen whether Nottingham Forest's interest in Morgan Gibbs-White will come to fruition, with The Mirror reporting that Wolves are holding out for £40 million. If sold before Saturday's clash with Fulham, Guedes may be utilised on the wing.
The right-footed Guedes may be deployed on the right hand side at Wolves, with Neto holding down his spot on the left. That being said, Lage has the option to invert his wingers, allowing both to create shooting opportunities much more frequently.
Lage will be used to the qualities that Guedes' possesses, having coached the Portuguese international during his spell at Benfica. In an interview with Wolves, Guedes said "I had two or three phone calls with the manager, we already knew each other from my time at Benfica, so it was key to me coming to Wolves.
"Speaking to Bruno and some of my national team teammates made me want to come here, as they said it was a great league and that they wanted to achieve big things at Wolves, so speaking to them was definitely one of the biggest reasons."
With a potential debut just days away, fans will be eager to see if their new man can turn Lage's pleasing style of football into a more productive system.