Menu Close

Vallejo not ready for Prem and Europe – Wolves boss

Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo believes Jesus Vallejo is not yet ready for the combined rigours of the Premier League and the Europa League.
On-loan Real Madrid defender Vallejo has played the last two outings in Europe – the 4-0 home win over FC Pyunik and the 3-2 victory away to Torino, which came seven days apart. But he hasn’t been involved in the squads for the Premier League games against Leicester and Manchester United as Ryan Bennett has started.
Nuno reckons the 22-year-old is currently better suited to playing once a week as he continues to build up his match fitness again after a longer than normal season, like Raul Jimenez and Romain Saiss, after being involved with Spain Under-21s to June 30, when they won the European Under-21 Championships with a 3-1 win over Germany in the final.
“We still believe these tough cycles we have on Thursday and Sunday is tough for him so (for him) it will be Thursday, Thursday,” said the head coach. “Vallejo is doing well but he had a different pre-season, because he had the European Under-21 Championships, so he had less time with us.
“But it is not only Jesus, it is all the players we have to consider. We look at each and every one and know this is the right moment.”
Asked directly if Vallejo is ready for the Premier League, Nuno replied: “You never know. Like Raul for example, like Leander Dendoncker – all these players that came late in our preparation because of national teams, they require a different approach, so we look individually inside of the team.” Wolves return to Premier League action on Sunday at home to Burnley when Ryan Bennett was expected to replace Vallejo as the right-sided centre back.
Nuno added: “Jesus is OK. All of these players we hope keep on working. When new players come in, it is about integrating them in the shape of the team. It is not about the team changing the shape – the shape receives the player with its own characteristics, so the team supports the growing of the player.
“Let’s try and do this, let’s try to create new dynamics, but it is tough, tough work.”
Vallejo, who captained Spain and figured four times for them in the tournament in Italy and San Marino, played against Wolves team-mate Patrick Cutrone in his first game in the tournament in a game the Italians won 3-1. Molineux team-mate Rafa Mir, currently on loan at Nottingham Forest, also featured in the victorious Spain squad.