This article is part of Football FanCast’s Off the Bench series, which places in-game managerial decisions and squad selections under FFC’s microscope.
Wolverhampton Wanderers extended their unbeaten run in the Premier League to a tenth straight match after they defeated West Ham United 2-0 at Molineux on Wednesday night.
It appeared to be going very much the same way for Nuno Santo’s side – the recurring theme of not being able to finish off games as the match teetered into the final stages at 1-0.
Leander Dendoncker bagged the opener in the 23rd minute from a Joao Moutinho corner.
Although, the Portuguese manager’s decision to make a change almost instantly paid off, showing that his side have learned from their previous errors.
Wolves now sit fifth in the top-flight as a result which is handy given the tough run of fixtures they face later this month in Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester City and Liverpool.
Off the Bench
In the 84th minute, Nuno introduced Patrick Cutrone for the faultless Raul Jimenez, 12 minutes after Diogo Jota was hauled off for Pedro Neto.
And this switch is something the Wolves chief is going to have to consider going forward as the Italian has been knocking on the door for so long having only played a total of one minute in their five previous Premier League games.
Should Nuno hand a start to Cutrone?
Within two minutes of being on the pitch, the £22.5m-rated (Transfermarkt) striker bagged the winner with what must have been his first touch – it was a fine slotted finish from the edge of the area which only goes to show he was ready to be called upon.
As a substitute, you can’t make more of an impact than that so not only did he justify his manager’s decision, but he also bolstered his claims to be handed a start.
Jota’s struggles have extended to an eighth straight game now, so it’s time to see Cutrone play that left-forward role at the next opportunity – Brighton on Sunday.
In other news, Nuno has revealed his plans for the January transfer window…
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