Wolves: Lopetegui interested in Acuna deal


Wolverhampton Wanderers are interested in a deal to bring Marcos Acuna to Molineux in the January transfer window.

What’s the talk?

Transfer Focus

Speaking recently to Spanish radio station Tiempo de Juego, Julen Lopetegui revealed that, following a number of reports linking Wolves with a move for the Sevilla left-back this winter, the 31-year-old is indeed a player on his radar heading into the January market – with the LaLiga side believed to be willing to sell the defender for a figure in the region of €14m (£12m).

Regarding the Old Gold’s links with the Argentina international, the 56-year-old manager said: “We are opening up different options. Because the reality is that we have to reinforce the team in different positions. He is a player that I like. But we will see what happens.”

“One of the best”

Considering just how impressive Acuna was for Lopetegui during his time in charge at the Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan, coupled with the eye-catching form the full-back has been in so far at the Qatar World Cup this winter, it is not difficult to understand why the Spaniard would be keen to seal a reunion with his former defender at Molineux this January.

Indeed, over his 31 LaLiga fixtures under Lopetegui’s management last season, the £13m-rated talent was in exceptional defensive form, helping his side keep ten clean sheets, in addition to making an average of 1.6 tackles, 0.5 interceptions, 0.6 clearances and winning 5.3 duels – at a success rate of 55% – per game.

The £48k-per-week left-back also impressed in an attacking capacity, scoring one goal, registering three assists and creating four big chances for his teammates, as well as making an average of 1.4 key passes, 3.6 long balls, 1.5 crosses and completing 1.4 dribbles – at a success rate of 67% – per match.

These returns saw the 31-year-old average an extremely impressive Sofascore match rating of 7.09, ranking him as Lopetegui’s joint second-best performer in the top flight of Spanish football last time out.

It has been a similar story over Acuna’s five outings at the Qatar World Cup this winter, with the defender having helped Argentina keep one clean sheet, as well as making an average of 2.0 tackles, 0.4 interceptions, 0.8 clearances and winning 4.8 duels – at a success rate of 60% – per fixture.

These metrics have seen the player who Frederico Varandas dubbed “one of the best full-backs in the world” average an eye-catching Sofascore match rating of 7.06, ranking him as Lionel Scaloni’s joint fifth-best performer in the tournament, playing a key role in his country reaching the semi-finals of the competition.

As such, considering just how much success Lopetegui has already enjoyed with Acuna lining up on the left of his backline, coupled with the full-back being one of the stars of the Qatar World Cup thus far, it is not difficult to see why the new Wolves manager would be interested in the 31-year-old, as the defender would make an exceptional addition to the Old Gold’s backline.




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mrB

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