Wolves must start fringe player with buckets of potential v Burton
When 23-year-old Leo Bonatani blitzed his way into the hearts of the Wolves faithful last summer arriving from Al-Hilal, it looked all the world as though they had got their hands on a veritable goalscoring machine.
12 goals in his first 22 games confirmed the notion that the Brazilian was the man to fire them into the Premier League.
But a drought in front of goal that has seen him fail to register in his last 17 outings saw him demoted to the bench.
Nuno Espirito Santo has used Bonatini in drips and drabs of late, but even that hasn’t solved the mystery behind his fall in form and means that the arrival of Benik Afobe in January has put the forward under even more pressure to return to goalscoring ways.
Bonatani’s misfiring has coincided with an inconsistent patch in form for the West Midlands club.
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Nuno’s side have only won twice in their last six league outings. Of those, two were defeats and two were draws.
Despite returning to winning ways against Reading on Tuesday night, a pummelling at the hands of Aston Villa days earlier cut their points advantage at the top to three and highlighted their issues in attack.
Diojo Jota has now surpassed him teammate as the club’s leading marksman but it is the form of Afobe, who arrived in January on loan, that means that he ought to be given the nod over the Brazilian attacker.
The Bournemouth loanee was given his first start under Nuno against the Royals and didn’t disappoint.
Afobe was a constant threat and got his name on the goal sheet in the 58th minute.
He now looks a nailed on starter for the weekend’s fixture against Burton Albion – and based on recent appearances, he could be the man to fire Wolves back into the Premier League.