Moutinho signs new Wolves contract

Midfielder Joao Moutinho has put pen to paper on a new one-year Wolves contract, taking his time at Molineux into a fifth season.

The experienced Portuguese arrived in the West Midlands in the summer of 2018 and has gone on to enjoy four successful campaigns in old gold and black, maintaining the highest of standards both on and off the pitch.

Named Player of the Season by the club’s supporters during his maiden campaign in the Premier League, Moutinho set the tone, and what has followed since has been a picture of consistency in the middle of the park.

Rarely unavailable for selection, the midfielder has chalked up 176 appearances in old gold, 39 of which came last season under Bruno Lage, as did the latest two entries to the 35-year-old’s collection of eye-catching goals.

A January winner at Old Trafford, left footed into the bottom corner from the edge of the box, was arguably bettered at Brentford weeks later, when a slick one-two was followed by the most sumptuous of finishes with the outside of Moutinho’s right foot.

A previous winner of the club’s Goal of the Season award for a stunner against Arsenal in 2021, Moutinho has developed an impressive partnership with compatriot Ruben Neves in midfield and has received praise for his influence on the young players at Compton Park.

Wolves technical director Scott Sellars said: “In Joao’s time at the club, he’s been vital, bringing real experience and quality to the group, so to get him resigned is a massive boost for us all. With contracts, it’s about getting to a place where everybody’s happy, the club and the player, and it isn’t always easy, but in the end what matters is the outcome and we’re very happy with it.

“He’s a huge influence in the dressing room, with the younger players, and sets standards that they follow. His and Bruno’s relationship is very important. As a coach, you like players who can solve things on the pitch, and Joao is certainly one of them.”

While consistently turning out for the old gold, Moutinho was equally important for his country last season, starting both World Cup play-off matches in March and helping to book Portugal’s place in Qatar at the end of the year.

A substitute appearance against Czech Republic in June took Moutinho’s club and country haul for the campaign to 49 appearances and having been unavailable for just two matches last season, Sellars heaped praise on the midfielder’s ability to remain in peak condition at the age of 35.

Sellars said: “During his time with us, and the data will prove it, he hasn’t dropped his performance levels, with the football and physically, he’s very fit and very professional, so it’s no surprise he’s still playing to such a high standard at his age. 

“You don’t play at the top for so long, being a regular international for Portugal, if you’ve not got the right mentality and attitude. If you’re going to be a professional athlete, you’ve got to have competitiveness with whatever you do, and he has that in abundance.

“If you look at him across the board – technically, physically and mentally, how he is around the place, he's so important, and we look forward to seeing Joao back at Compton this week and being a part of the squad this season.”

Moutinho will make his return to Compton Park on Wednesday, as pre-season ahead of the midfielder’s fifth Molineux campaign continues.