Forget Jimenez: Wolves wizard who won 100% duels was Nuno’s unsung hero vs Sheff Utd – opinion

Forget Jimenez: Wolves wizard who won 100% duels was Nuno’s unsung hero vs Sheff Utd – opinion

Wolverhampton Wanderers kickstarted the new campaign with an impressive victory on Monday evening, it couldn’t be more of a perfect start. Three points and a clean sheet.

Nuno Santo watched from the bench as his new-ish look side defeated Sheffield United 2-0 at Bramall Lane – Marcal was handed a debut at left wing-back whilst there was no place for Matt Doherty, who is now a Spurs player.

Raul Jimenez got straight back to work with a goal inside the opening three minutes and then the Wolf Pack made it two in double-quick time as Romain Saiss headed home in the sixth minute.

But a rare start from Daniel Podence next to the prolific Mexican was capitalised and he was arguably the Man of the Match from the game.

The Portuguese winger delivered the assist for the opener but also won all of his ground duels, had two successful dribbles at a 100% success rate and he even won two free-kicks, via SofaScore.

It was perhaps a surprise to see him named as a starter over Diogo Jota, however, it clearly paid off thus making that £17m January investment looking ever so much smarter.

The 5 foot 5 wizard was making just his 14th appearance in the Old Gold shirt and on that basis alone, he needs to become a regular option for Nuno, particularly if Adama Traore continues to be utilised at right wing-back in the absence of Doherty.

Back in July, skipper Conor Coady lauded Podence’s impact to the squad, claiming: “It was a brilliant goal and important for Daniel because he’s come to the club and popped up now with a great goal.”

Whilst Express & Star’s Joe Edwards was impressed with how the dynamo played as a ‘second striker’ and often swapped around with Pedro Neto to cause the Blades all sorts of problems. Podence was “constantly asking questions,” according to the journalist.

Hopefully that’s merely signs to come from the little magician.

AND in other news, Wolves must sign their perfect right wing-back in £30m diamond…

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