COMMENT By Matt Farr
Wolves announced Nuno Espirito Santo as their new manager earlier this week, where he becomes their seventh different manager since February 2012, and their fourth boss in only the last 10 months.
The frequent managerial turnaround at Molineux represents a turbulent reign from the club’s Chinese owners Fosun, and their continued struggles to compete with expectation in the English Championship.
Santo’s predecessor, Paul Lambert, was dismissed from his post amid frustrations that the club were set to restrict his level of influence in the transfer market, and that is a no-go for most managers, not just the Scot.
Lambert was concerned that Wolves were prepared to hand super-agent Jorge Mendes full control over their transfer dealings, although various figures related to the club have since denied the claims.
Mendes is believed to have a big influence on much of the decision-making behind the scenes at Wolves, given his close ties with the owners.
Wolves have already signed a number of players from Mendes’ GestiFute agency, including Portuguese duo Helder Costa and Ivan Cavaleiro, who were both signed last summer.
However, even though Wolves insist Mendes has no official role at the club, they must be very careful not to avoid handing a man of Mendes’ power the reins in the transfer market.
Their alleged flirtations with Mendes – one of the biggest names when it comes to agents and transfer dealings – would inevitably end in disaster.
A manager simply must have as much control as possible in the transfer market, otherwise they are unable to work with their own players.
Newcastle boss Rafa Benitez looked in a precarious position ahead of the summer, after it became unclear during the January transfer window as to who was in charge of the club’s transfers.
However, owner Mike Ashley has since issued his full backing, after the Spaniard had threatened to walk away from his role at St. James’ Park.
Therefore, it can be understood why Lambert was frustrated in his own role at Molineux.
Mendes could be a handy link to keep on board for Wolves, given his vast knowledge and contacts in the footballing world.
But the Midlands side must make a concerted effort to ensure his level of influence is restricted, and that he does not think he runs the show.
Otherwise, they can’t expect to progress from their current position at the bottom-end of the Championship, and run the risk of slipping into disaster territory.
In other Wolves news, Santo is planning to raid his former club for this 21-year-old playmaker.