Kenny Jackett has played down any suggestions that summer signing Rajiv van La Parra is a potential replacement for Bakary Sako – and says he is keen to have as many potent wing options as possible.
Speculation has tended to follow Sako around since his arrival at Molineux two years ago, but he has enjoyed an impressive two seasons scoring 23 goals in 81 appearances and claiming Player of the Year and joint top scorer of the year in the respective campaigns.
Jackett is keen to maintain the sort of flexibility around Wolves’ attacking options which paid dividends last season, and believes adding van La Parra to a department also including the likes of Michael Jacobs and James Henry offers up plenty of options.
“Van La Parra is somebody we have tracked for a little while and, we did think that with him being out of contract, it was too good an opportunity not to take him.
“It leaves us with, I think, four good senior wide players, and in terms of scoring and creating goals that is quite exciting.
“They are different types as well - van La Parra has a lot of pace, Sako’s game is based on pace and power.
“And I’d think that perhaps James Henry and Michael Jacobs have more football in them - certainly coming inside there is a lot of perception in their play.
“So there’s a good balanace between the four of them that bodes well for the future.”
The Head Coach continues: “I am very excited about our wide options which are very good.
“Sako got nine goals in his first year here in the Championship and that’s where he is looking, at nine goals plus.
“Regarding his shooting ability he has a lot of power, particularly in his left foot, and I want to get Sako into shooting positions as much as we possibly can.”
Jackett has also never had any cause for complaints about Sako’s attitude, the winger knuckling down to life in Sky Bet League One last season and not hankering for a move despite the speculation.
Both parties have acknowledged that any Premier League interest might produce a different scenario, but equally Jackett remains pleased to have the Mali-born winger firmly in his plans.
“There hasn’t been any interest in Sako, and we will have to see.
“Right now we are not even into July but as July and August builds up I’m sure that will be the case right around the country.
“It is not quite the same with Wolves in the Championship as it was in League One - there is not quite that ‘stand out’.
“Personally I was very pleased that Sako stayed and he did well for me and he did well for the club.
“I think he is happy here and I don’t think he is unhappy – he doesn’t come across that way.
“He has been very genuine with me in terms of being honest with what he wants and what he wants to do.
“But I’m looking forward to working with him again. He has done very well and long may it continue.”