Although an unbeaten pre-season leading up to the club’s first league match against Blackburn may signal that Kenny Jackett and his team can push on from their agonising failure to reach the play-offs last season, Wolves fans could be forgiven for feeling a little nervous about how the club will fare during the upcoming campaign.
Despite the early acquisitions of Portsmouth starlet Jed Wallace and Huddersfield defensive midfielder Conor Coady, it seems Wolves have fallen behind in the transfer market. Supporters have been left to question why a replacement for Bakary Sako has not yet been found, and why a new goalkeeper has not been signed following the departure of Tomasz Kuszczak and with the unavailability of Aaron McCarey.
With Jake Cassidy, Leon Clarke, Kevin Doyle and Liam McAlinden all leaving Molineux in the past few months, Adam Le Fondrehas been brought in on a season-long loan from Cardiff.
However, Kenny Jackett seems to have also pinned his hopes on a striker already at the club to provide competition for the outstanding Nouha Dicko and mercurial Benik Afobe.
This time last year, Bright Enobakhare was relatively unknown to the majority of Wolves fans. The striker moved over to England from Nigeria when he was 15. He went to college, and claimed: “I might have missed class to play football. It’s all I wanted to do.” His enthusiasm led to him playing for a local Sunday League side, before being spotted by a variety of clubs, one of which was Wolves.
After agreeing to move to the club, Enobakhare was regularly selected for the Under-18 side, and the powerful forward clearly impressed the Wolves management enough to be selected for the Under-21 squad, making his debut against Derby County. He was offered a two-year deal earlier this summer, with an option for a further year in the club’s favour.
As a result, Enobakhare found himself involved with the first-team squad for the very first time, after being selected for the pre-season tour of France. The powerful striker made his debut against Chambly, and marked the occasion with a goal in an exciting 3-2 victory.
Enobakhare continued to be involved in Jackett’s side upon the team’s return to England, and has since scored a stunning individual winning goal against Doncaster. He picked the ball up just under 30 yards from goal, and embarked on a twisting, skilful run that penetrated the Doncaster defence, before he finished emphatically in the bottom corner to seal a 4-3 win. The striker joined fellow youngster Jordan Graham on the scoresheet, with Connor Ronan also putting in a fine individual performance.
After the game, Jackett was quoted as saying that Enobakhare’s desire to win the ball back, and his strength and turn of pace are characteristics suited to Championship football. Upon commenting on the forward’s confidence and ability to play directly, the manager added that the forward’s ability “suggests that he could do something in senior football this year.”
And, after assistant head coach Joe Gallen suggested that further signings would be unlikely because the current squad is “strong enough to hit the ground running”, maybe Jackett will keep to his word and keep Enobakhare involved in and around the first-team. The striker may just follow the example set by the likes of Dominic Iorfa, Kourtney Hause and Jack Price in a successful two-season period for the club.