It has been without a doubt an exciting summer so far for Wolverhampton Wanderers supporters with a flurry of transfer activity. New manager Nuno Espírito Santo who joined the club following his dismissal from FC Porto this summer, is clearly being backed heavily by Wolves’ Chinese owners Fosun.
Goalkeeper John Ruddy was recently announced as Wolves’ sixth signing of the summer earlier today as he joined on a free transfer from Norwich City.
He joined the likes of Barry Douglas, Phil Ofosu-Ayeh, Roderick Miranda and Ryan Bennett who had already arrived at Molineux this summer. However, the news that really shocked the football world was the arrival of Rúben Neves as he joined for around £15.8 million from FC Porto. The huge fee involved made it one of the biggest transfer deals in the history of The Championship.
However, despite the quality of these signings, Wolves are still in need of a top striker if they are to challenge for a place in the Premier League next season. The only strikers currently on their books are Nouha Dicko, Joe Mason, Jon Dadi Bodvarsson, Paul Gladon and Bright Enobakhare. Although the likes of Dicko and Mason are solid strikers at this level, they are unlikely to be the 20-goal-a-season man to fire Wolves out of the division.
One striker who Wolverhampton Wanderers have recently been linked with and supporters would love to see return is Benik Afobe.
Wolves signed the 24-year-old from Arsenal in the 2015 January transfer window for a bargain fee of around £2 million. During his time at the club, he scored 22 goals in 46 appearances and became a fans favourite at Molineux.
However, he did leave the club in controversial fashion as he joined Bournemouth the following year for a fee of around £10 million to fulfil his dream of playing in the top flight. This was against the club’s wishes, but in the end, they had to reluctantly accept the bid rather than keep an unhappy player on their books.
His time at Dean Court has not gone how Afobe would have wanted it to, which has led to speculation that Eddie Howe may be willing to offload the striker this summer. He has struggled to pin down a regular spot in Howe’s starting lineup and has only scored ten goals in 44 appearances.
Afobe has found himself behind the likes of Callum Wilson and Joshua King in the pecking order in recent times, and the recent arrival of Jermain Defoe is likely to hinder his chances of first team football even more. At his age, playing football is the most important thing, and a move back to where his career really took off may be the best choice for him.
If Wolverhampton Wanderers do decide to make a move for the striker, it is unlikely that he will be available on the cheap. Bournemouth would want to recoup a majority of the £10 million they forked out for him a year ago, if not more. However, this is the current price for strikers of his calibre and other potential targets such as Nottingham Forest’s Britt Assombalonga are unlikely to come any cheaper.
There is no doubt that if Wolverhampton Wanderers were able to land a deal to bring the striker back to the club, it would be yet another real statement of intent. It would put them among the favourites to gain promotion to the top flight next season. Wolves supporters will be eagerly waiting for any potential movement on this deal with a mouth-watering prospect of Afobe linking up with the likes of Hélder Costa and Neves next season in mind.