Wolves forward Meritan Shabani has been commended by the club’s under-23 manager Rob Edwards for his performances so far at that level.
Speaking to the Express & Star, Edwards said that the 20-year-old was “showing more and more quality all the time, every day” in his first few weeks at the club.
The Germany under-20 international joined Wolves in early August from Bayern Munich and has been cutting his teeth with the under-23 side in the hope of earning an opportunity with the first team under Nuno Espirito Santo.
Shabani came to Wolves off the back of a fruitful season with Bayern Munich’s reserve team, scoring six times and providing seven assists in 27 games last term (0.22 goals and 0.26 assists per game) as they won promotion to 3. Liga, Germany’s third tier.
He also scored three times in four UEFA Youth League games in 2018/19 and had even been given brief exposure to Bayern’s first team, for whom he has made three appearances.
Although he played mainly as an attacking midfielder in his Bayern days, Edwards has deployed him as a centre-forward for Wolves’ under-23 side.
Shabani has played all four of their matches so far this season, scoring in the 2-1 victory against Blackburn, their only win of the campaign to date. [via TransferMarkt.co.uk]
Kiran Thakare, a writer for Bayern Strikes, said that the 20-year-old has “a good eye for delivering the final pass and a good knack of scoring goals”, and he feels that Shabani is good enough to break into the first team at Molineux. [via Express & Star]
The youngster’s versatility has enabled him to adapt to numerous midfield and attacking roles across the full width of the pitch, but goalscoring has not been a problem for Wolves’ first team of late.
In 10 matches so far this season, Nuno’s team have scored 21 goals (2.1 per game) and had 10 different scorers, with front men Raul Jimenez and Diogo Jota grabbing 11 between them. [via TransferMarkt.co.uk]
Also, even with Wolves facing the added commitment of Europa League football in 2019/20, Nuno has awarded gametime to just one academy graduate this term, with Morgan Gibbs-White being given 275 minutes of action.
Nuno has not been inclined to give much game time to players from Wolves’ youth and reserve teams so far this season, while the summer arrivals of Pedro Neto and Patrick Cutrone have strengthened their attacking options further.
If Shabani can build on his promising start with the under-23 side, he might have a chance of breaking into first team contention, but it seems more likely that he would first need to follow the lead of fellow forwards Leo Bonatini, Rafa Mir and Bright Enobakhare in being loaned out to gain senior experience.
Wolves fans, can you see Shabani featuring for the first team at any stage this season? Let us know what you think by commenting below!
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