Wolves: Luke Cundle's time to shine at Molineux as Ruben Neves dealt crushing blow
By Jake Tomkinson
Following the news that Wolves’ star midfielder Ruben Neves will be out until May, it could be time for academy product Luke Cundle to step up into first-team action.
Cundle, 19, is clearly in Wolves manager Bruno Lage’s future plans, as the young midfielder signed a four-year contract in March.
The teenager has already claimed one start for Wolves in the league this year, in a 2-0 win away at Tottenham Hotspur, where he proved his talents, with a 96% pass completion rate.
Speaking to the official Wolves website on 1 March, Cundle said: “I’ve been training with the first-team for a couple of years now, but at the start, as a young lad, you can get quite nervous, but the lads help you through it and make you feel comfortable.”
Lage consistently makes small tweaks to his formation, sometimes favouring a three in midfield instead of two.
With Wolves’ other fit midfield options being Joao Moutinho and Leander Dendoncker, there is still work to be done to break into that starting 11 for Cundle if Lage favours the two in midfield.
A European place is still up for grabs for Wolves, with the side sitting just two points off seventh-placed West Ham United, but Cundle has shown he can deliver under pressure after he excelled in his only start this season at Spurs.
Lage has managed Cundle’s development fantastically, with the young star only training with the first team this year, giving him the ability to develop his game and learn from midfield aces Moutinho and Neves.
Moutinho is 35 now and the Portuguese’s contract runs out at the end of the season, meaning Lage may use this time to assess what he has available to him in Cundle, and give him some first-team opportunities.
In other Football Wonderkids news, Steven Gerrard could fix one of his first-team issues at Villa Park by fast-tracking this sensation.