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Shi must seal Wolves swoop for "outstanding" 6-goal gem, he's shades of Bakary Sako - opinion

At long last, Wolves have signed a new striker. Willian Jose is the name on supporters’ lips with the Brazilian arriving on loan from Real Sociedad.

However, it would appear that Jeff Shi isn’t quite done in the transfer market yet.

What’s the word?

Football Insider reported back in November that Wolves were keeping tabs on Peterborough winger Siriki Dembele.

However, there has now been an update on the future of the impressive 24-year-old forward.

According to the same publication, Nottingham Forest have made a loan to buy bid for Dembele who has reportedly put in a transfer request to leave Posh.

Should Wolves sign Dembele?

F1 go on to reiterate Wolves’ interest in the player, also stating that Celtic, Fulham and Crystal Palace are all in pursuit. 

Shades of Sako

Wolves fans won’t want to be reminded of their spell in League One back in 2013/14, but one player they will probably remember fondly is Bakary Sako.

At that level of the English football pyramid, the forward was close to unstoppable, proving to be a valuable asset as the Old Gold tried to climb back through the leagues. 

Sako netted 12 goals in 40 outings, also providing 15 assists for his teammates. It was a mesmeric campaign from the Malian who proved equally devastating at Championship level.

The attacker netted 15 times and picked up a further ten assists for his troubles, putting in performances that terrified defenders. During the 2014/15 term, he produced 2.9 shots per game, 1.5 key passes a match and also 2.8 dribbles over the same metric.

But why does this hold any relevance in the present day? Well, Dembele has been producing similar performances at the same level for Peterborough.

The Wolves target, who like Sako can play on the wing or up front, has been nothing short of exceptional over the last two seasons. Speaking about the Posh striker last year, his manager Darren Ferguson said: “The boy has been absolutely outstanding since realising he can play as a central striker.” 

Indeed, Dembele has scored six goals and provided seven assists this season. That adds to the six strikes and nine assists he amassed in 2019/20.

Though, to compare him more closely to Sako, we can analyse the more detailed stats. The fearsome Peterborough man has managed fewer shots than the former Wolves flanker – two per game – but his creativity and ability to beat a man is better.

Dembele has delivered 1.8 key passes a match while his dazzling capabilities have led to an eye-catching three dribbles per game.

It remains to be seen what Dembele could do at a higher level but those attributes certainly demonstrate that he’d bring an awful lot to Wolves. 

Nuno Santo has regularly developed talent from the lower leagues and you only need to look at the likes of Matt Doherty and Diogo Jota to understand how you can rise up the leagues with Wolves before thriving in the Premier League.

With Wolves struggling and lacking goals with Raul Jimenez out injured, signing another forward on top of Willian Jose certainly wouldn’t be a bad idea.

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