Patrick Cutrone has signed a four-year deal with Wolverhampton Wanderers and comes to England with a point to prove.
While you have to commend Wolves for bringing a player as promising as Patrick Cutrone to the club, it is clear that they have signed a player who is very inconsistent.
Wolves signed the young striker from AC Milan for a reported fee of £16 million.
A product of Milan’s excellent youth academy, Patrick Cutrone made 90 appearances for the Rossoneri and scored 27 goals in all competitions.
When it comes to assessing a player’s true credentials, it is always better to study his league’s statistics. Last season, Cutrone played 34 Serie A games for Milan where he scored 3 goals and provided 2 assists.
In all honesty, these statistics are not good enough for a player plying his trade at the San Siro. This was perhaps the reason why Paolo Maldini had no qualms about selling the player to a club that needed a striker anyway.
Last season, Nuno Espirito Santo didn’t really have a Plan B. Despite of that, they finished seventh in the league standings. This was definitely a good return to top level English football. However, Wolves need to evolve as things can be pretty unforgiving in the second season.
With Cutrone on board, Wolves might play in a different way. While they are a very good counter-attacking side, they seem to struggle when they’re the ones dominating possession. With Diogo Jota and Adama Traore playing down the flanks, Cutrone will be expected to be the preferred strike partner for Raul Jiminez.
Both men have great aerial ability and are always a pestilent presence for defenders.
Next season, games will come thick and fast especially if they qualify for the Europa League. Should this happen, Cutrone is going to play the role of a lead striker in his first season in English football.
There might be times when Jiminez wouldn’t be available. That could see Santo pair Cutrone with Adama Traore. The Malian has never really been consistent out wide but if he’s played through the middle, he can be devastating. Those skills perfectly compliment with the young Italian’s ability to hold the ball and overall link-up play.
Playing from the bench might also be a possibility of Cutrone struggles in his first season. Last season, Wolves flourished in the 5-3-2 formation. However, that formation required players’ individual qualities to be on the forefront.
That was especially the case for Jiminez whose high-pressing game helped the team earn the rewards on a regular basis. So if Cutrone starts from the bench, he would be expected to help give his Mexican teammate some rest.
Granted he’s a work horse but Wolves cannot risk Jiminez burning out next season.
Cutrone at 21, has the age, energy and athletic ability to share the workload with Jiminez.
Unlike last season when a lot of onus was on Jiminez to lead the attack, this time around things would be different with Cutrone. The youngster might not have a lot of goals in him but he would be a perfect team player.