The intriguing £40m transfer window Wolves could have had - according to Football Manager 2023
How could the summer transfer business have played out at Wolves ahead of the new Premier League season?
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It was a hectic summer transfer window for Wolves as they look to bounce back from the departure of some key players.
The likes of Ruben Neves, Nathan Collins and Raul Jimenez all headed for pastures new ahead of the new Premier League season and there was further bad news when Matheus Nunes departed to join treble winners Manchester City in a £55m deal.
There were plenty of incomings as loan deals for Boubacar Traore and Matheus Cunha were converted into permanant moves and Matt Doherty returned to the club on a free transfer. Manchester City youngster Tommy Doyle arrived on a season-long loan deal and Libertad winger Enso Gonzalez, Girona defender Santiago Bueno and Strasbourg midfielder Jean-Ricner Bellegarde all joined for a combined outlay of around £25m.
But how could things have played out at Molineux? We fired up Football Manager and used the editor to move on the players that left the club this summer to see what business was conducted by the virtual Gary O’Neil.
Mariano Diaz (free transfer)
There was plenty of interest in the striker after he departured La Liga giants Real Madrid but Wolves managed to see off interest from clubs in Ligue 1, the Bundesliga, Serie A and the Premier League to land Diaz on a free transfer.
Stefan Lanier (loan from Borussia Monchengladbach, permanent to follow)
The Austrian international became Wolves’ second summer signing when he completed a season-long loan move to Molineux. That deal will become a £7m permanent move in the summer of 2024 after a mandatory fee was agreed between the two clubs.
Isco (free transfer)
This is a shrewd piece of business as Wolves pick up a five-time Champions League winner and a three-time La Liga champion on a free transfer following his departure from Real Madrid. Isco may well have joined Real Betis in the real world this weekend but it’s the virtual Molineux where he’ll be plying his trade.
Florian Grillitsch (free transfer)
Another bargain basement signing but perhaps just as shrewd as the addition of Isco as Austrian international midfielder Grillitsch moves to Molineux on a free transfer after he left Dutch giants Ajax.
Ryan Sessengon (£18.5m from Tottenham Hotspur)
Finally, a cash signing! Wolves handed over £18.5m to bolster their options on the left-hand side with the signing of Tottenham Hotspur star Ryan Sessegnon. The England Under-21 international looks set to become a key player for Wolves as he competes with the likes of Rayan Ait-Nouri, Jonny and Bueno for a place in the starting lineup.
Gedson Fernandes (£13.5m from Besiktas)
A return to the Premier League for the two-times capped Portugal international almost three years after he spent time on loan at Tottenham Hotspur. After failing to land a permanent move to North London, Fernandes has spent time with Galatasaray, Caykur Rizespor and Besiktas, but he will now form part of the Wolves midfield after making a £13.5m move to Molineux.
Gaetano Castrovilli (£8m from Fiorentina)
Another midfield addition and the final signing of the summer as Wolves land the Fiorentina star in an £8m deal with just hours to go in the window. The 26-year-old will hope to shine and help his new club recover from the departures of Ruben Neves, Joao Moutinho and Matheus Nunes.