Newly-promoted Wolves had a very successful summer transfer window, spending well over £50m, while Southampton’s was slightly more uneventful.
Wolves manager Nuno Espírito Santo wants to build a legacy at Molineux, and is developing a squad to do so. A large Portuguese contingent is building in the West Midlands and Rui Patrício is one of the main men now between the sticks.
After a difficult 2017/18 in the Premier League, Southampton would have liked to strengthen their squad, and they did so by recruiting a few players, although not at the same scale Wolves had. Snapping up Angus Gunn from Man City may be some of the best business The Saints have done. Let’s see who was more impressive.
Wolves were very fortuitous in signing Portugal keeper Patrício this summer, after the Sporting Lisbon player had his contact terminated after being attacked by fans. To capture a player of his quality for free was a massive coup for Wolves, and can definitely be seen as one of the most successful purchases of the summer. He is still in great form, having featured heavily for the national side over the World Cup, and can fill a lot of Wolves fans with hope.
He has already gone on to make three starts for Wolves this season, and, although he has not managed to keep a clean sheet, he has looked extremely solid, particularly in his club’s 1-1 draw with champions Man City.
Although, at 30-years-old, Wolves haven’t necessarily bought a longterm keeper, they could still get a good few seasons out of him.
Nonetheless, a newly promoted side being able to sign the Portuguese keeper with 70 caps for free is a massive boost, and could be one of the best transfers of the summer.
TT Grade A
When Southampton signed Man City’s 22-year-old goalkeeper Angus Gunn from Man City for £13.5m, fans would have known that this was more of an investment. The 6ft 5 player has featured for every England age group between under-16 and under-21, which clearly shows that he has a lot of potential, but may not be the finished article just yet.
Gunn spent last season on loan at Championship outfit Norwich, managing to keep 16 clean sheets in 46 appearances. However, Man City obviously saw him as surplus to requirements, and Southampton have so far this season.
The goalkeeper has not featured yet for The Saints, therefore it is hard to judge his transfer so far too well. However, he can be judged on the potential that he has, making this a fairly decent signing by the south coast club. With Alex McCarthy and Fraser Forster already at the club, manager Mark Hughes has plenty of goalkeepers at his disposal. So while Gunn may struggle for game time this season, he will feature for many years to come.
TT Grade B-
Both Patrício and Gunn are high quality keepers, but they will make different impacts at their clubs. While the Portuguese will make an instant impression, the former England under-21 player is more of a slow-burner.
However, being able to capture Patrício for free turned this transfer from a good to a great signing for Wolves, and means that he is victorious in this transfer battle.