Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo insists Jesus Vallejo is now up to speed and ready for the combined slog of Premier League and Europa League.
The on-loan Real Madrid centre back only made his Premier League debut on Saturday and suffered something of a baptism of fire as Chelsea thrashed Wolves 5-2. Vallejo was partly at fault for two of the goals in a mixed performance on a day to forget for Nuno’s much-changed defence.
Up until last weekend, the 22-year-old had only been used in three Europa League games and each with seven days between them. But he made the step up in the Premier League on Saturday with Ryan Bennett surprisingly dropped from the squad and Willy Boly suspended.
Wolves played their first 10 games in just 39 days and Nuno explained that when Vallejo first signed for the club, he couldn’t have played on consecutive Sundays and Thursdays because he wasn’t up to speed with the intensity and close proximity of the games. But the head coach now believes the Spain Under-21s captain is ready to be involved in all matches.
“What I mentioned the other day is not about the Premier League or the competition, or the Carabao Cup or the FA Cup, it’s about the cycle,” said Nuno, speaking before the Chelsea game. “It’s about eight days, regarding his past, because he’s been involved in the Under-21s Championship, so that was not the best moment for him to play Sunday, Thursday, Sunday, Thursday.
“I think he needed more time to recover from that moment of the season. Now of course he is getting fitter and better and is more integrated into the team.
“Now all of the players are ready to face these tough moments that means playing Sunday, Thursday and Sunday again. So all the squad is ready for it.”
Like all new signings Vallejo has been welcomed into the squad and made to feel at home. He has been helped by the fact there are other Spaniards such as Jonny Castro Otto and Adama Traore already in the squad, and Mexican Raul Jimenez, who also speaks Spanish.
“I have seen that from him but not only him but all the players who have come in before have been adapting well,” added Nuno. “We know one of the best things is how the squad receives them and helps them integrate and then it’s all about time, dedication in the aspects, and Jesus has done very well.
“He has settled in well, he is happy in the city, he’s been working hard every day and that’s the way it has to be.”