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Wolverhampton have had another disappointing season in the Championship under Paul Lambert. Given the size and scope of the club, supporters go into most seasons believing they should challenge for the playoff places as a minimum and plenty of times in the past, they have been right.
Defensively they’ve not done too much wrong, though plenty will disagree with this. Nobody in the whole division manages more clearances than centre-back Danny Batth and in Conor Coady, they have found themselves a good attacking right-back from nowhere. However, we think that their problems are up front.
Helder Costa has been excellent this season and looks set to carry on his progression next year as well. He is one of the several talented players that Wolves have, coming from wider and deeper positions. But to get something tangible out of a Championship season you need a proper goal scorer.
Andreas Weimann has managed just 2 goals in 19 games which is a dreadfully disappointing return from the Austrian. He would argue that he is not a no.9 though and as such a high goals-to-games ratio should not be expected. Nouha Dicko has fared a little better and so Paul Lambert’s options have been severely limited.
£2m rated Hugill could change that. Just finding his feet now at Preston North End, Hugill has had his most productive season ever, managing 44 appearances. His 35 starts in that time have yielded 12 goals and you can add a few more to that next season as he continues to improve. Given better service, which he would get from the likes of Costa, Marshall and Cavaleiro, he can be expected to start passing the 20-goal mark, which these days, is extremely valuable.
This season may have ended a tad too soon for Hugill. The Middesbrough-born striker scored a lovely goal at St. James’ Park in an otherwise dismal performance against Newcastle, which was part of a run of 7 goals in 19 games in the Championship during a period in which his side won only 4 times. He is clearly beginning to outgrow this Preston team and, with all due respect to them, at 24-years-old he cannot afford to hang around there much longer if he is to achieve his ambitions.
Wolves right now cannot attract a top class striker (though they need a 20-goal man) and Hugill as yet cannot get a move to a top club. So together, they may realise their joint ambitions. An inexpensive move for Hugill may be the best piece of business Wolves can do in a long time.