The Return of Nunes to Molineux: A Tale of Betrayal and Redemption
Matheus Nunes is back at Molineux, but this time in the Man City blue. The stage is set for a fiery reunion.
A Troubled Farewell
It’s no secret in the world of football: Matheus Nunes’s exit from Wolves wasn’t the smoothest. The Portugal international, after sensing that his desired transfer to treble winners Man City was stalling, didn’t merely show his disappointment; he ramped it up to an explosive level as reported by The Telegraph.
City’s initial attempt to procure Nunes met with resistance from Wolves. The midfielder’s response was stark. Refusing to train, taking his boots, and vanishing from the Compton training base, his actions echoed louder than words, leaving a sense of betrayal that Wolves fans aren’t likely to forget.
This weekend, Nunes is slated to return to Molineux. With Wolves fans already on edge after a rocky season start under Gary O’Neil, the prospect of Nunes delivering a stellar performance is bound to stir the pot.
The High Hopes and the Reality
The £38 million move from Sporting to Wolves had created a significant buzz. The hope was that this Portuguese dynamo would spearhead a vibrant era for the club. But sometimes, reality plays out differently. His stint at Wolves, though marked with moments of brilliance, was largely underwhelming. This Saturday isn’t just about facing his old team; it’s about proving himself to Man City’s gaffer, Pep Guardiola, and the world.
Beyond any shadow of doubt, Nunes, at 25, is dripping with talent. He’s got the knack to control the game’s tempo and possesses a swift change of direction that leaves defenders in a tizzy. This is a player who’s been on Guardiola’s watchlist for a good 18 months. The same talent even saw Liverpool itching to trigger a purchase clause.
But now, with Man City’s midfield general, Kevin De Bruyne, sidelined and Rodri serving a suspension, the stage is set for Nunes to stamp his authority.
The Deal’s Intricacies
Guardiola’s admiration for Nunes isn’t a flash in the pan. When Nunes dazzled in the 2021-22 season at Sporting, he caught the Spaniard’s eye. And while Crystal Palace’s Eberechi Eze was on City’s radar, Nunes always seemed the more feasible deal.
Amidst the tumultuous transfer saga, Guardiola sought insights from the former Wolves head coach, Julen Lopetegui, which came in positively. But even as City’s £47 million bid faced rejection, and Nunes’s unexpected outburst at the training ground left many jaws dropping, the drama was far from over.
City eventually settled on a £53 million agreement, free of any add-ons but with a 10 per cent sell-on clause. Interestingly, Nunes’s penalty for his brief ‘strike’ found its way into this deal’s framework.
Nunes in New Colours
While Nunes gears up for a charged return, Wolves have added midfielder Tommy Doyle to their ranks on a loan-turned-permanent deal. But all eyes will be on Nunes when he steps onto the pitch at Molineux.
His departure may have left a bitter taste, with some arguing that his stellar outings for Wolves could be counted easily without running out of fingers. However, the Premier League’s intensity, Nunes confesses, was a challenging adjustment. With only one goal and one assist to his name in Wolves’ colours, he’s already replicated the latter at City.
Joining a roster brimming with talent, Nunes seems poised for an evolution. Players like Jack Grealish and Phil Foden have scaled new heights under Guardiola’s tutelage. This Saturday, Nunes has a golden chance to demonstrate his calibre.
Indeed, Jeff Shi, Wolves’ chairman, wasn’t off the mark when in August 2022, he labelled Nunes as a gem in global football. This weekend, it’s Nunes’s time to shine, showing Wolves precisely what they let go.