Wolverhampton Wanderers have already clinched its safety in the English Premier League for another season and now it looks that Nuno Espirito Santo will give his young players valuable minutes heading into the 2021-22 campaign.
Owen Otasowie made his second start of the season for Wolves in Monday’s 1-1 Black Country Derby draw with West Bromwich Albion at The Hawthorns. The U.S. Men’s National Team midfielder started slow for Wolves, but overall did a solid job in his 71-minute outing for the 12th place side.
Otasowie got the start along with Fabio Silva and Rayan Ait Nouri, all of whom are under the age of 21-years-old. Silva scored the opening goal before halftime and played 90 minutes while Ait Nouri was substituted off in the 82nd minute.
The 20-year-old Otasowie was used in the heart of Wolves midfield, registering one shot, completing two dribbles, and winning four of his eight individual battles. After mainly being used with the Under-23’s this season, Otasowie grabbed important minutes with the first team and now sets himself up nicely for appearances in the final four matches of the season.
“They are young boys, young talents, but a lot of work to be done,” Santo said post match about the young players. “The product is there, it’s up to us to try and improve it.”
“Vitor [Vitinha], Rayan [Ait-Nouri], Fabio [Silva], Owen [Otasowie] – a lot of young players that didn’t start many times, but they are working hard, it’s about taking their chances and they will have chances before the end of the season, but they have to prove themselves so we can improve as a squad.”
“It improves them, and we have lot young players from the under-23s that will have their moments, because this is not only the team, it’s about what we want for our future, so let’s use the competition to give a good foundation.”
Otasowie’s next chance to play for Wolves will come on May 9th at Molineux against Brighton & Hove Albion before final matches against Tottenham, Everton, and Manchester United to close out the league schedule.
The New York native made his senior debut for the U.S. Men’s National Team in November 2020 and could be in the mix for future appearances this summer.