The magic of Raul Jimenez and Podence – behind the scenes as the Wolves prepare for the return to the Premier League


Wolverhampton Wanderers’ first team are entering their fourth week of training at Compton Park.

Nuno Espirito Santo and his trusted lieutenants put players through a mini preseason before their return to action later this month.

The Premier League will return from June 17 and the Wolves are one of the clubs, if not the best prepared for the restart.

The wolves were already back in training before the introduction of distance social training a few weeks ago with Nuno and his players back in Compton on May 11.

The club pioneered the Premier League for coronavirus testing, and a new system, designed to keep contact on the training ground to a minimum, has been implemented with military-style efficiency.

The Wolves players, who had kept in shape during the runs and home training during the lockout, are now entering the final stages of the “pre-season”.

Premier League clubs should host warm-up matches to improve fitness before the restart and that is something wolves are exploring. In addition to the best flying clubs, the Wolves could host friendlies with championship teams whose own campaign is set to resume on June 20.

Now that the training is in full swing, here are a few things we spotted in Compton:

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Safety comes first

We have already discussed some of the measures put in place to ensure the safety of players and staff at the training complex.

The wolves did not neglect the stone in order to avoid unnecessary contact, in accordance with government directives.

Players go to practice in their kit and avoid the main building when possible.

Buckets have been lined up on the side of the training ground for each player, including all of the refreshments and equipment they will need for the session.

Raul IS Training

Social media has been filled with conspiracy theories as to why star striker Raul Jimenez was left out of the training photos.

The Mexican was not present on the training ground the day the first batch of photos was taken, but otherwise participated as usual.

And the club finally ended supporters’ concerns with a photo of Jimenez, smiling from ear to ear, during a session this week.

WOLVERHAMPTON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 29: Raul Jimenez of Wolverhampton Wanderers celebrates after scoring his team's first goal in the UEFA Europa League qualifiers: second match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Turin at Molineux on August 29, 2019 in Wolverhampton, England . (Photo by David Rogers / Getty Images)

The magic of Podence

Daniel Podence Wolves’ career has not yet had a chance to take off with the lockdown that comes just when he threatened to hit his stride in old gold.

The Portuguese shared his training routines and eating habits during the suspension of football and seems determined to hit the ground running when football returns.

From the limited footage we saw behind the scenes at Compton, Podence looks incredibly clean. A quick dart in the lower left, and a double with Owen Otasowie, was followed by a thunderous ending in front of John Ruddy in a clip released by the Wolves.

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Nuno calls young people

Nuno called the young American Otasowie and his compatriot Christian Marques. The two have operated in defense this season with Otasowie often used to the right of the rear three and Marques in the middle.

Marques is just 17 and joined the Wolves of Swiss club Grasshopper last year, while Otasowie – who signed a two-and-a-half-year contract extension on January 1 – played part of his football at Midfielder.

Otasowie made his debut in the 4-0 victory over Besiktas at Molineux in December and played in the midfield on that occasion.

New looks

Everyone had a hard time keeping their hair in check while locking and Wolves players sport interesting looks.

Leonardo Campana shaved his head, while others let nature take its course. And, rightly or wrongly, Joao Moutinho has left the beard.

Check out our gallery later in the article.


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