Wolves midfielder Morgan Gibbs-White hopes that the team’s added commitments this season will help him to start more regularly for Nuno Espirito Santo’s side.
The 19-year-old told the Express & Star that the addition of Europa League group stage football to their calendar for 2019/20 could present more opportunities for him to become an established member of Wolves’ starting line-up in all competitions throughout the season.
The teenager said: “Of course, you can’t keep the same 11 for every single game. It gives you the incentive to work harder, try and impress more. If you impress in these cup games, you’re a contender for the league games, and that’s what you want – to play in the Premier League.” [via Express & Star]
Despite being just 19, Gibbs-White has already amassed 58 appearances for Wolves’ first team, although 41 of those have come as a substitute. [via TransferMarkt.co.uk]
Only five of his 26 Premier League appearances last season came as a starter in the team and, having played for 647 minutes in the league in 2018/19, that averages out at 24.88 minutes per appearance.
He started just two of Wolves’ six Europa League qualifying games, coming off the bench in another, and has featured in only one of their four Premier League matches so far this season, getting 67 minutes as a starter against Burnley. [via TransferMarkt.co.uk]
Last week, Gibbs-White told wolves.co.uk that his preferred position is as an advanced or box-to-box midfielder, which makes a return of one goal and one assist in his Wolves career seem rather underwhelming.
Fellow Wolves central midfielder Joao Moutinho also has just one goal for the club in 54 appearances, but he is a frequent creator of goals, setting up 13 in his time at Molineux (one every 4.15 games).
Moutinho also had a better passing success rate than his younger team-mate last season, with 84.8% compared to 83.9%, although Gibbs-White had a 90.2% passing accuracy rate against Burnley last month, which suggests that he could be improving this aspect of his game.
In 2018/19, Moutinho averaged 2.2 key passes per game to his midfield colleague’s 0.4. Defensively, the Portugal international won three tackles per game last season, compared to Gibbs-White’s 0.2 average.
Moutinho turned 33 last Sunday and is approaching the climax of his career, whereas Gibbs-White is only starting out on his footballing journey and could put himself into a position to eventually supplant the elder man as Wolves’ main central midfielder, Moutinho having made 38 league starts in just over a year at the club.
Also, with the added commitment of the Europa League, Nuno might shuffle his pack regularly in the coming months, so Gibbs-White could be given further opportunities to show his manager that he is worthy of a regular starting berth.
The onus is on him to take those opportunities, though, as Moutinho’s superior statistics will likely see him remain as first choice central midfielder for the time being.
Wolves fans, do you think Gibbs-White could become a regular starter in the team during this season? Let us know your views in the comments section below!
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