Wolves recorded a fantastic result away at Bristol City at the weekend and two key performers were Bakary Sako and Kevin Doyle. It is public knowledge that both of them are on sizeable contracts and have been linked with several different clubs this summer. However, Sako has featured in all three league games so far and Doyle has appeared in two, both playing pivotal roles in Wolves’ strong start.
If Wolves do lose the pair they will not only need to strengthen but they will struggle to attract players of a similar ability, leaving the squad weaker than before. Personally, if the two are keen to stay and honour their contracts I think Wolves should do all they can to keep them as it seriously increases the Wanderers’ chances of an immediate return to the Championship.
During the years of following football I have never come across a player with such a split opinion as Doyle. Many fans slate his mediocre looking goal record but having watched him for many years now he offers so much more to the team than statistics represent. His work-rate down the channels, chasing lost causes, backing into defenders, holding the ball up and constant hassle to defenders often creates space for his strike partner. Although he wasn’t prolific last season he still ended up scoring ten in the league and assisting six times and in League One he would regularly dominate centre halves and create chances for Leigh Griffiths. Another plus point to the Irishman is his
professionalism and experience which would prove beneficial to some of the younger strikers in the squad such as Jake Cassidy, Bjorn Sigurdarson and Liam McAlinden.
Sako is a player who is adored by many Wolves fans but one who I am often overly critical of. Statistically he has been a fantastic player since joining from Saint-Étienne but sometimes his greed can get the better of him. However, his ability to strike the ball from distance including set-pieces along with his knack of getting a yard on his full-back is vital to Wolves’ promotion aspirations this season. The club lack genuine wingers and this has been shown by the reliance on the French midfielder this season who has netted twice in three games and also set up Matt Doherty’s winner on Saturday. Many sides ‘double up’ on the winger which is great for the other midfielders as it allows them more space and could enable Zeli Ismail to flourish this year down the right hand side.
Sako played against Preston North End in a game where he was pretty ineffectual but after Kenny Jackett drafted Doyle into the starting eleven Wolves have achieved maximum points. If both leave without replacement I think Wolves will really struggle to make the top two this season. It is clear that the majority of the fans want both players to stay and are fully behind this new era under Jackett.
93.71% fans who voted on the Express & Star’s poll want the pair to remain at the club and feel they are vital to Wanderers’ chances.