Hobbs | 'He's a young player we're excited about'

Matt Hobbs is excited to see what the “exciting talent” of Noha Lemina can produce at Wolves, now he’s joined on loan until the end of the season.

The 18-year-old, brother of Mario Lemina, has made the switch from Paris to Wolverhampton, following a spell in Italy, and now has the opportunity to settle into life in the Premier League and impress Gary O’Neil.

Keen to not place too much pressure on a young player’s shoulders, Hobbs says the move was a no-brainer, with Wolves able to assess the winger and Lemina able to adapt to a new country and show his ability as a positive attacking player.

On bringing Noha Lemina to Wolves

“Noha’s an exciting, young, quick, direct winger who can play on either side. He has good technical ability and had a great football education at PSG. It’s an opportunity to get him in the building, he can get a feel for us, and we can assess him over the five months. He’ll improve under Gary, like all our players do, and Gary and his staff will get a real opportunity to develop him, which will give us an idea on what we do going forward.”

On him learning on the job

“He had a tough loan in Italy where I’m sure he wanted more first-team minutes. There’s no pressure on him, he’s a young boy and is adapting to a new country. We’re excited because it’s Mario’s brother, but we have to remember this is a young lad. He’ll back himself to force his way in and play for our first-team, and he has the potential to do that, but first and foremost, he has time to settle and his minutes will come how they come.”

On the link to Mario

“It’s been a tough time for the family. Gary spoke about it, that Mario is a massive part of everything we do here, on and off the pitch, and he’s not once asked for favours. When Mario first joined, his brother had been flagged up by our scouting team as a player they were on top of, so last year I started talking to Mario about his brother, and how he’s doing.

“Mario’s a driven individual, so doesn’t want any favours, but he has real belief in him and knows him better than anyone. He thinks he’s a Premier League player in the making. It took a bit longer than expected, seeing if we could get him the points, and it was a no-brainer to bring him. We’re excited by him. If we forget he’s Mario’s brother, he’s a young player we’re excited about, but like all our young players, we understand it takes time, and we’re excited to see what we can do.”

On the logistics behind the deal

“It’s an opportunity which you don’t always get, to take a boy in and see how he settles in the environment, because you never know, players don’t always settle when they come to the Premier League.

“We can see what his path will be after that, there’s no pressure from anyone here, it’s purely a chance to look at an exciting young talent, who suits how we play with his pace and the spaces we look to exploit on the pitch, so he suits what Gary is doing. Let’s see what he can do.”