Wolves goalscorer Matt Doherty is to spend time with his close friend Benik Afobe.
Head coach Nuno Espirito Santo revealed after the 1-1 draw against Sheffield United that the wing back, who equalised after 64 minutes to cancel out Lys Mousset’s 63-second opener, will see his former team-mate, whose daughter Amora has tragically died at the age of two.
Amora suffered a severe infection then developed complications before passing away, leaving his former colleagues at Molineux distressed.
Afobe had two spells at Wolves, initially joining in a £2m deal from Arsenal in January 2015 for a year before being sold to Bournemouth for £10m.
Then he rejoined on loan from the Cherries in January 2018 and helped the club to promotion with six goals in 16 appearances before signing permanently that summer only to be sold to Stoke City for £12m.
Afobe, 26, scored a total of 29 goals in 64 games in gold and black over his two spells at Molineux, and is currently on loan from Stoke at Bristol City, who dedicated Saturday’s 5-2 win against Huddersfield to him.
“Matt has a very close relationship with Benik. He’s his friend,” said Nuno.
“We knew about it. Benik was with us and we are very sorry. The respects from all of us go to the family and to Benik to be strong.
“We wish him all the best. Matt is going to visit him now. It’s a very strong friendship.”
Nuno believes a draw was a fair result in the end. United could have won aafter David McGoldrick wasted three chances in the second half, whereas apart from Doherty’s goal, Wolves came close closest when Raul Jimenez’s header was tipped away in the first half.
“It was a good game. We started bad because Sheffield pushed us very hard, pressed us very good, created problems,” said Nuno.
“We were bad in the first situation they had, so everything became harder.
“But we stayed in the game and competed until the end against a very good team.
“Both teams wanted it. It was up and down, but it was a good game of football.”
Wolves ended the game on the attack and Nuno was pleased with the way they finished.
“We had chances, but we were unbalanced also,” he said. “We finished the game on the front foot, having free kicks, crosses and a lot of possession from one side to the other.
“We tried until the end. Both teams tried until the end.”
Sheffield United had five players booked but Nuno believes one of them, wing back George Baldock should have been sent off after a potential second bookable offence when he chopped down Jota went unpunished.
“In the moment, it seemed obvious,” said the boss. “But Martin Atkinson (fourth official) said it was not clear as he had another player around him.
“I haven’t seen it on TV, but on the pitch, I had that feeling.
“It was a brave game with a lot of duels, but fair duels. It was and Sheffield fighting for the ball, and it was fair. That’s what the referee decided.”
Wolves remained sixth in the table and extended their unbeaten run in the Premier League to nine games, their best in the top flight since April 1973.
Nuno also only made one change to the side that drew 3-3 away to Braga on Thursday night – and that was enforced, with Max Kilman replacing the suspended Romain Saiss at left back – while he made no substitutions.
“We’re pleased because we played on Thursday in Braga – a very tough game against a Portuguese team with a good profile,” said Nuno.
“It’s a challenge for us to go from that to Sheffield United, with such intensity and direct football.
“Trying to grow through the competitions is the big challenge we have, and we have to compete again on Wednesday.
“We don’t change. We didn’t make subs as the game kept going until the end, everybody was fighting.
“But Max is ready. He’s getting stronger, so let’s keep on building.”