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Shi: Wolves to continue ‘try before buy’ if they can

Chairman Jeff Shi says Wolves will continue their ‘try before you buy’ policy if it’s the right deal for them.

Wolves have enjoyed huge success with loan deals that have turned into permanent signings over the last two years, as well as helping with Financial Fair Play.

Willy Boly, Diogo Jota, Raul Jimenez, Leander Dendoncker, Jonny Otto and Ruben Vinagre are the six biggest examples of temporary signings impressing before signing for the club full-time.

Jota was the club’s 18-goal top scorer last season when Wolves raced to the Championship title before signing for £14m from Atletico Madrid last summer, when Boly joined him in the permanent ranks from Porto for around £10m and Vinagre from Monaco for just £2m.

Jimenez joined at the start of this season on loan from Benfica, but that was turned into a permanent deal in March, with the £32m signing to officially go through on July 1.

Dendoncker’s £12m transfer from Anderlecht was ratified by the authorities during the season after he initially joined on loan, while Jonny’s temporary stay was converted to a full-time one from Atletico Madrid or £18m in January after he joined at the start of the campaign.

I think it’s a good strategy, but it’s not something we can do always,” said Shi. “It’s depending on the market, and sometimes when we are loaning a player, it means the previous club might not need a player at that moment.

Then they are happy to loan him to us and it’s a good window for us to check the player, while a selling club could also be keen to sell the player when there is a right price.

It’s about three parties, as you also need to have a player who is happy to be loaned first before trying his best to join us – like Raul (Jimenez).

It’s not something we can copy again and again, but if something like that were to happen, we would be happy.

However, we will still keep the chance to buy some players and we will also have to promote some players from our academy. It’s a mix.”

Wolves have finished seventh, their highest placing since 1979-80 when they were sixth.

Shi revealed he is pleased with the progress made, but stressed the club must continue to improve.

I’m very happy about the achievement and we are at the seventh place, but the most important thing is about making the progress,” he added.

Every season we want to make the progress for the club and for the team, and so it shows we are on a very good curve to get to the next level, and I hope for next season we can keep progressing.

I think the most important thing is we are working like a team, and from Nuno, from the team, from us, from all the staff, from the fans, we are really united, and we are working towards the same direction.”

Shi says continuity of staff helps, with Nuno and his backroom staff in place for two years.

If you want to keep growing and keep on going, especially for a long, long while, I think you have to do something like this,” added Shi.

It’s really great to have people around you to work the same way, so I think that’s the most pleasing thing to me.”