Scouting expert expects Rayan Ait-Nouri to be 'huge' part of Wolves squad next season
We’re delighted to welcome Football Manager’s Wolves researcher Dave Azzopardi as our exclusive columnist. Each week the scouting expert will be giving his views on the biggest talking points on Wonderkids across the UK…
Wolves defender Rayan Ait-Nouri has been tipped for a ‘huge’ future at Molineux in the 2022/23 season if he can sort his timekeeping issues out behind the scenes.
The French Under-21 international was an impressive cog in the Wolves side at left-wing-back during the 2021/22 season and won a regular place under Bruno Lage during the season.
But scouting expert Azzopardi shared that the youngster has been known to be late to team meetings which has annoyed the boss in the past, but if he can knock that off then he expects him to improve and be a big part of the side going forward.
“Definitely he can improve,” he told The Football Wonderkids.
“It’s been a bit of a weird season for him, he came into our team last year and he’s been in and out of the side. We had Jonny obviously who had a long-term injury last year, he came back for a little bit and I thought Ait-Nouri was going to struggle for game time.
Subscribe to Football Insider TV now
“But in the end he stayed in the team and did well. Obviously he signed a deal with us. It was a bit strange, in pre-season he was playing further up the pitch almost as a left winger and at the start of the season Bruno Lage went with Marcal. So I was a little bit worried that Ait-Nouri wasn’t going to be Bruno Lage’s bag this season.
“But he broke into the team just before Christmas, had an unbelievable performance against Liverpool where he really restricted Salah to nothing. He got brought off injured in the 90th minute and then Liverpool scored as soon as he went off.
“He’s had those patches where he’s been in and out of the team and I don’t know what it is, whether it’s fitness. I know behind the scenes that his time keeping isn’t great and stuff like that, which can wind up a manager, but this season he’s been good.
“I think he’s a young man with a lot of potential and hopefully it’s just the start of a strong career. He’s not the most skilful player but [against Liverpool] he was just gliding past players like they weren’t even there.
“Wolves haven’t been great going forward but I think if we can get a better attacking approach, he could be a huge part of it next season.“
Ait-Nouri made 26 appearances in all competitions, scoring once against Norwich and registering three assits over the course of the season.
In other Wolves news, Barcelona midfielder identified as potential Ruben Neves replacement