They are far from the finished article yet, though, and the Spaniard is using the January transfer window to great effect in order to preserve the Molineux club’s top-flight status.
Winter arrivals include Matheus Cunha, Mario Lemina, Pablo Sarabia and Craig Dawson as the manager looks to build a new-look spine to the team. At the same time, there have also been a few departures, most notably summer signing Goncalo Guedes, who has moved to Benfica on loan.
The Portuguese forward only netted twice in 18 matches for his parent club, and Lopetegui will now be actively looking for a replacement.
The Old Gold have been linked with a move for Udinese forward Gerard Deulofeu this month, with Fabrizio Romano discussing the player on the House of Champions YouTube channel and claiming that Lopetegui is a fan of the 28-year-old.
The Italian stated: “I think it’s about Udinese wanting to keep Deulofeu. For example, I’m told that also Wolves’ manager Lopetegui is [a] big fan of Deulofeu. So it’s true that Aston Villa like him, but also Wolves have been tracking him.”
Despite Wolves improving their ability to score under the Spaniard, with four in his five league games compared to just three in eight under Bruno Lage until his sacking at the start of October, he will be in the market for another forward who can add a different dynamic to his team, and Deulofeu could be the ideal player.
The ex-Watford forward would also be a major upgrade on Guedes too. The 5 foot 10 dynamo has not only registered more goal contributions (eight to two) than the 26-year-old this season, along with more shots (44 to 21), goal-creating actions (nine to one) and shot-creating actions per match (6.16 to 3.43), illustrating that he would be a much more effective attacking threat for Wolves.
Deulofeu’s excellent performances this term have seen him become one of the best in the continent compared to positional peers across Europe’s top five leagues, ranking in the top 10% for assists, shot-creating actions, passes attempted, progressive passes, dribbles completed and touches in the attacking penalty area.
His former Everton coach Roberto Martinez heaped praise on the player following an impressive performance against Barnsley in 2015, saying of Deulofeu: “He was outstanding when he came on. His pace, penetration, and ability in one-on-one situations was something that inspired our second-half performance.”
If Lopetegui could secure the 28-year-old’s signature this month, it would give Wolves another excellent attacking option and potentially play a big role in continuing the club’s recent resurgence.