It has been a whirlwind time for Wolverhampton Wanderers fans this season as they look to make a return to the Premier League for the first time since 2012. They are the runaway leaders at the moment, but with still a way to go in the league are they able to sustain it?
Since Jeff Shi took up the role of the executive chairman in the summer of 2017; Wolves have not looked back. They appointed the former F.C Porto Nuno Espirito Santo as manager and invested heavily in the side to help guarantee promotion. They have brought in a strong Portuguese contingency and spending £15.8 million on highly rated youngster Ruben Neves was a clear indication as to where the owners want the club to be.
The Championship is no longer a place for free transfers and veteran Premier League players playing out their final days. It is a place for young players to prosper and take their chance to make it is a professional who can play at the highest level. With eight players in the first team squad 23 or under, Santo really does grasp how the Championship operates.
One of the standout performers for Wanderers has been Leo Bonatini. He joined the squad this season as part of a loan deal with Al-Hilal Riyadh, but you do not expect him to return. With 12 goals for the season he has been compared to Wolves legend Steve Bull, which is one of the highest compliments a fan can make. Considering Manchester City and Juventus were interested in signing him the board need to make the deal permanent before someone else grabs him.
With the likes of Bonatini, Diogo Jota, Ivan Cavalerio, Rafa Mir and Rebuen Neves taking all the plaudits, there needs to experience in the side, and not many in the team can boast about winning a league title. However, left-back Barry Douglas can. The 28-year-old has won the league with Lech Poznan, and then he won the Turkish Cup with Konyaspor the following season. He has been inspired with his left foot this season contributing nine assists so far and producing the rugged performances at the back you would expect from a player who has played in Scotland, Poland and Turkey.
There is a great balance to the Wanderers side set up by Nuno, and he wants his players to attack. Setting up in a 3-4-3 formation allows Douglas and Matt Doherty freedom to help the attack, but they can also sit it in allowing Jota, Cavalerio or Helder Costa to do their mesmerising thing. 51 goals and just 22 goals conceded is the best record in the league, and they will have to keep up that sort of record to keep 2nd place Derby County at bay.
Slipping up for only the third time against Nottingham Forest was not a huge blow as they still have an eleven point lead at the top, but Nuno will be hoping none of these minor blips happens again as they do not want to slip into a play-off place; they want automatic.
Wolves do have a tricky fixture list at the start of April when they play Cardiff City and Derby but if they continue playing the way they have been they should be able to defeat these two. If they do, it would surely wrap up the league but as the old cliché goes anybody can beat anybody in the Championship.