Marques heads out on loan

Wolves defender Christian Marques has completed a season-long loan move to League One side Forest Green Rovers.

The 19-year-old, who has regularly worn the armband for Wolves’ under-21s over recent years, heads out for his second loan spell, this time with Ian Burchnall’s recently promoted outfit.

The Portuguese arrived at Molineux in January 2019 and quickly established himself at the heart of the defence, becoming the youngest player to captain the club’s development side.

A regular in James Collins’ side during the start of this season, and a goal scorer against Brighton & Hove Albion, Marques now embarks on a fresh challenge in the third tier of English football.

Wolves’ strategic player marketing manager Matt Jackson said: “This is the first time Christian has gone out into the Football League, it was a great experience in Portugal, but now it’s time for games. They want him to go there and show his leadership ability.

“They’ve got a good shape which will suit him and it’s the perfect opportunity for him to develop, in the same vein Nigel Lonwijk has at Plymouth. Christian’s super mature and has brilliant leadership skills that we see every week in the under-21s, and he’ll demonstrate them there.

“It’s a good group at Forest Green, they’re well coached and are a well-run club, and he’ll benefit from that. He’s experienced being around our first-team enough, and now it’s time to translate that into a first-team environment, and he’s the right personality to do that.”

Last season the youngster spent time on loan with Portuguese club Belenenses SAD, regularly featuring in the first-team matchday squad as the club were relegated, providing invaluable experiences for the younger.

“He had a tough working environment. Belenenses had a tough time while he was out there, so he saw how to be around a first-team group under pressure. You can be part of a losing team, or a team doing well, these are the learning process of first-team groups.

“Now he’ll have the rhythms of Football League life, with the number of games they have. They have in excess of 20 games between now and new year, so there’s a raft of games coming up, and you have to adjust quickly, learning to play three times a week.

“When I was at Wigan I worked with their sporting director Richard Hughes, and what they did with Rob Edwards they’ve tried to replicate that with the new manager, so there’s good continuity and you know the players are well coached. We think it’s a great fit for Christian.”