Josh Holland has voiced his surprise over Wolverhampton Wanderer’s decision to sign central defender Nathan Collins on a five-year deal from Burnley.
What’s the word?
Speaking to GIVEMESPORT, the journalist said: “I think it’s a very different signing to what Wolves have been used to for the past few years.
“They’re not a club renowned for going into the domestic market and bringing in players who, obviously, he’s from a lower division but played in the Premier League last season, so it’s a bit of a shock.”
The £20.5m deal goes against trends recently set by Wolves, but they must rate him highly if they were willing to spend a decent fee and tie him down to a long-term contract.
He has been brought in to replace Romain Saiss who has joined Besiktas on a free transfer.
Lage could’ve made a huge mistake
Collins may only be 21 years old, but the fee paid seems a lot for a player who has only one year’s experience at Premier League level. He made 19 appearances in the top-flight last season but was unable to help the Clarets avoid relegation.
He helped his side keep just five clean sheets in that time and committed two fouls which led to penalties being given against his team. Whilst his overall statistics aren’t the worst, they should be a cause for concern if Lage expects him to come straight in as a key defender in the squad.
Is Collins a good signing for Wolves?
Collins also ranks in the bottom 20% amongst positional peers in the Premier League last season for the number of times he was dribbled past by an opposing player – he’ll need to improve if he wants to be ahead in the pecking order.
If you compare him directly to Conor Coady, Max Kilman, and Willy Boly, he also ranks last in many categories. He has the lowest successful press percentage (34%) and the worst pass completion percentage (72%).
Whilst time is on his side compared to the others who are ageing, he doesn’t look like the answer for Wolves straight away so Lage shouldn’t rely on him.
It’s likely Lage will give Collins a big role given the fee paid, but he’ll need to up his performances if he’s to merit a place in the team ahead of the other options.
Time will tell how much of a success the move is, but, from all mentioned above, Lage could have made a huge mistake in spending so much of his summer transfer budget on the defender.
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