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How are Wolverhampton Wanderers' fringe players faring out on loan?

:Headline: How are Wolverhampton Wanderers' fringe players faring out on loan?:
Wolverhampton Wanderers have a wide array of players who are currently out on loan, but how are they faring at their temporary homes ahead of the final two months of the season?
Sports Mole

While Wolverhampton Wanderers have generally been impressing on the pitch under Gary O'Neil, owners Fosun International have come under scrutiny for the position of the club off it.

There was condemnation from a section of the supporters, as well as disgruntled boss Julen Lopetegui, as Wolves parted ways with more senior players in the summer than they were prepared to replace.

Nevertheless, the West Midlands outfit are now in a position where they can claim to be flourishing both in Premier League action and behind the scenes, with Wolves challenging for European qualification and having successfully avoided a points penalty courtesy of how they have combated the division's Profit and Sustainability Rules.

If reports are to be believed, overcoming such issues remain ahead of the summer transfer window, albeit to a far lesser extent, and Wolves may stand to benefit long term from how they are manoeuvring players around a wide range of different clubs and leagues, either through experience gained or future funds that are generated.

Here, Sports Mole takes a look at how the players in question are faring at their temporary homes, covering a range of contrasting scenarios.


SENIOR PLAYERS

In terms of players who could return to Molineux to command a first-team spot, Yerson Mosquera is the one to watch for Wolves. After starring for FC Cincinnati in 2023, the defender was allowed to link up with Villarreal for the remainder of the campaign.

While less said about Mosquera's contribution in the first leg of the Europa League last-16 tie with Marseille the better, the Colombia international has made six starts and three substitute outings in all competitions, Villarreal winning six of the nine games that he has featured.

Fabio Silva is also impressing at Rangers, making eight starts and five substitute appearances. Only scoring four times is an obvious negative, yet his all-round impact at Ibrox has been appreciated, allegedly leading to Wolves to feel that they can recoup £15m for his signature in the summer.

Similar would have been hoped from Sasa Kalajdzic and all was going well across six starts for Eintracht Frankfurt before the forward suffered yet another serious knee injury. The current realistic hope is that the Austria international may be fit again at the back end of the year.

Perhaps one temporary stint that has gone under the radar is that of Chiquinho's at Famalicao. The 24-year-old has shown that he has fully recovered from the knee injury that kept him out of 2022-23 in its entirety to make 14 starts and five substitute outings in Primeira Liga, scoring three goals. He will either add to Wolves' attacking options next season or be sold for a decent fee.

That is Wolves' aim for Goncalo Guedes, who has joined Mosquera at Villarreal. The Portugal international has chipped in with two goals and two assists from 406 minutes of La Liga football and currently seems on track to attract suitable interest at the end of the season, rather than Wolves having to accept loan fees and wages being covered.

Ki-Jana Hoever, Luke Cundle and Joe Hodge are having mixed impacts in the Championship. Hoever has racked up 37 games for Stoke City in all competitions, yet his output has not matched his performances at the same club last season, while Cundle has failed to impress in his seven starts and three substitute outings at the Potters since switching from Plymouth Argyle.

Hodge is far more likely to return to Wolves and again compete for a spot in O'Neil's squad. The 21-year-old midfielder pushed for a loan move elsewhere at the end of January, and has been rewarded with three starts and four substitute outings for an improving Queens Park Rangers side.


PROSPECTS EARMARKED AS POTENTIAL FIRST-TEAM PLAYERS

Jamaica international Dexter Lembikisa made an FA Cup start against Liverpool at Anfield under Lopetegui before dropping down the pecking order. However, the 20-year-old has excelled for Rotherham United and Hearts this season, making a combined total of 35 appearances in all competitions, and he could get a chance under O'Neil in 2024-25.

There had been hope that Chem Campbell could be in a position to make a similar case, but just 13 starts and seven substitute outings have come for League One duo Charlton Athletic and Wycombe Wanderers.

Having had minimal joy in Switzerland with Grasshopper Zurich, Nigel Lonwijk is also at Wycombe, who have produced some of their best form of the season since the Dutch defender's arrival with five wins coming in the seven games that he has featured.

Goalkeeper Louie Moulden has been earning the kind of experience that could see him eventually promoted into the first-team fold, making 28 starts for Rochdale in the National League and 10 outings coming for Northampton Town in League One.


ACADEMY/UNWANTED PLAYERS

Wolves only extended Daniel Podence's contract by a further year to facilitate a loan back to Olympiacos and all parties will be happy thus far, with the winger contributing 12 goals and eight assists from his 35 appearances in all competitions; a permanent transfer away from Wolves should follow in the summer.

The same could apply to Bendeguz Bolla who is on loan at Servette. The Swiss side possess an option to buy and it is plausible to think that will be activated with the right-sided Hungary international having posted five goals and five assists from 33 appearances, 10 of which have come in the Europa League and Europa Conference League.

Indonesia international Justin Hubner has just been allowed to link up with Japanese outfit Cerezo Osaka on loan, initially for senior experience, but with a new contract past 2025 having not been penned upon his departure, his future remains very much in doubt.

Four other players find themselves featuring in the National League, including Owen Hesketh at Kidderminster Harriers, but the Welsh midfielder has been limited to 70 minutes across four substitute outings.

Right-back Harry Birtwistle is having more individual success at Oxford City, making five starts, but his new side have failed to win a single game that he has featured.

Eighteen-year-old Owen Farmer has made nine appearances for National League North side Rushall Olympic, with the attacker netting once, while goalkeeper Joe Young has been outstanding for Buxton in the same division, keeping six clean sheets in 13 games.


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Read more about Gary O'Neil Julen Lopetegui Yerson Mosquera Fabio Silva Sasa Kalajdzic Chiquinho Goncalo Guedes Ki-Jana Hoever Luke Cundle Joe Hodge Dexter Lembikisa Chem Campbell Nigel Lonwijk Louie Moulden Daniel Podence Bendeguz Bolla Justin Hubner Owen Hesketh Harry Birtwistle Owen Farmer Joe Young Football
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TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
CManchester CityMan City38287396346291
2Arsenal38285591296289
3Liverpool382410486414582
4Aston Villa382081076611568
5Tottenham HotspurSpurs382061274611366
6Chelsea381891177631463
7Newcastle UnitedNewcastle381861485622360
8Manchester UnitedMan Utd38186145758-160
9West Ham UnitedWest Ham381410146074-1452
10Crystal Palace381310155758-149
11Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton381212145562-748
12Bournemouth38139165467-1348
13Fulham38138175561-647
14Wolverhampton WanderersWolves38137185065-1546
15Everton38139164051-1140
16Brentford38109195665-939
17Nottingham ForestNott'm Forest3899204967-1832
RLuton TownLuton3868245285-3326
RBurnley3859244178-3724
RSheffield UnitedSheff Utd38372835104-6916
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