Lopetegui | Cunha is a ‘complete forward’

Wolves head coach Julen Lopetegui believes Matheus Cunha will be an important player for the club not only during the remainder of the 2022/23 Premier League season, but also in the future.

Having made the Brazilian his first signing as Wolves boss – once the transfer window opens on 1st January, Lopetegui feels the striker will have all the attributes and characteristics to produce in the English game, although he acknowledges he will have to adapt from what he was used to in Spain.

On Cunha signing for Wolves

“He’s going to happen once the market is open [on 1st January], so he’s going to be our player. He’s not currently working with the team, but he will work when he can.

“With him and with the rest of the players that are going to come here [they will be ready to play in January]. He can only start [training] when the market is open.

“But we have a very important matches and we have to put the focus on the players who are here because they are going to be the main actors in the next matches.”

On what to expect from the striker

“Cunha is a good player. I know him, I think he’s a good signing for us in the present and also for the future. I feel that he is a very complete forward.

“He has a good condition and good skills, not only technically, but physically, because this is England and in the Premier League you have to be very combative if you want to survive.

“I think he has this profile to play here for a lot of years. Of course, we are going to help him to develop his strengths in the future.

“It’s true that he hasn’t scored a lot of goals, but it’s true also that he is able to score a lot of goals. I hope that he is going to do this here. He’s a very young forward, but he has the quality and the skills to become a very good striker.”

On adapting to the English game

“All the leagues are different, but in the end, it’s football. It’s the same. When I talk about the special skills for the English game, one of the strengths of English football is the physical strengths of the players.

“You have quality, but at the same time, you have physical strengths. There are strong players. I think it’s going to be important when you talk about one kind of player to develop his football here, it’s the one aspect.

“All of the players and coaches need the time to adapt, but we don’t have time. We have to adapt quickly and we have to try to put our knowledge into the minds of the players and into the dressing room. But we don’t have time, so we have to adapt quickly and the players do too.”

On other January signings

“When it’s not clear that they’re not going to be here, I prefer to not talk about them. We have to put the focus on the players who are here inside.

“We have very important matches in front of us, starting on Monday, and for me, that’s the most important thing now. Once the market is open, Cunha is going to help us.”