Wolves: Nuno Espirito Santo is leaving after four years as manager


Nuno Espirito Santo
The Wolves enjoyed their best Premier League finals under Nun – seventh in each of the last two seasons

Portuguese manager Nuno Espirito Santo will leave the Wolves together at the end of the season.

The former goalkeeper left Porto to take control in 2017, and the Wolves won the title in their first season.

After finishing seventh in the Premier League in the last two seasons, the 47-year-old has signed a contract a three-year contract extension last September until 2023.

The Wolves are 12 for the final game of the season at home on Sunday at Manchester United.

“From the first day we arrived in Compton [training ground], our ambition was to make a positive change and push this football club forward, “Nuno said.

“I’m proud to say we did it every day. We achieved our goals, we did it with passion, and we did it together.”

“Sunday will be a very emotional day, but I’m overjoyed that the fans will be back in Molineux and we can share one last special moment together, as one package.”

Jeff Shi, president of the club, said: “Nuno has brought us incredibly special moments in the Wolves that will never be forgotten, but every chapter comes to an end.

“His loyalty and dedication over the last four years has been immeasurable and we cannot thank him enough for the progress he has made for the Wolves.

“Sunday was already a very special day, for the first time in more than a year we greeted our fans again, but it will now also be an appropriate farewell for someone who will forever remain an important part of the Wolves’ history.”

Analysis – ‘Some thought Nuno took the Wolves as far as he could’

Simon Stone, BBC Sport

The shock of Nun’s departure comes more from time, not from the fact that it’s actually happening.

Throughout the season, it was clear that it was not easy for him to work in a pandemic, away from his family and trying to find answers to unexpected problems on the field.

There were concerns that he might leave at the end of last season, but instead the club funded an expensive renewal exercise, partly through sale of Diogo Jota to Liverpool. That was supposed to open a wider style of play compared to the one that led the club to consecutive seventh-place finishes.

It didn’t work. Switching between a reliable three to the back line to four, inconsistency in the midfield and a horrific injury ending the season for Raul Jimenez, all together created a disappointing campaign that led to many Vukovi fans complaining that Nuno took the team as much as he could.

That verdict seems harsh. In the last 60 years, the Wolves have only finished seven times above their current 12th place in the front row – and two of them have been under Nun for the last two seasons.

With CEO Laurie Dalrymple and football director Kevin Thelwell already gone, the Wolves will lose three major rising figures from Championship to Europa League quarterfinals within two years.

Jeff Shi now has the main task, but, given the influence of Portuguese super-agent Jorge Mendes in Molineux, don’t be surprised if there is a nationality at least for the identity of Nun’s successor.

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