Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo has confirmed defender Jesus Vallejo will return to Real Madrid this month.
Vallejo is on a season-long loan at Molineux but has barely featured and all parties are looking at ending the arrangement early.
“Jesus Vallejo is going, because he wants to play,” said head coach Nuno. “He’s a young, talented player that we brought here with high expectations, but it didn’t work out.
“So it’s time for him to go and find a club where he can play and keep on progressing because the talent is there.
“Now we look ‘why?’ but we don’t have so much time so we move forward.
“When things don’t work out, you have to look at yourself as a coaching staff ‘how can you make thngs work for the best?’
“Sometimes, you just don’t have time and it’s two parts – you the player, the club – all these things.”
Nuno added: “It’s not instinct. It’s based on reality. He had moments that he played, he had moments he performed well and some moments he didn’t perform so well.
“That’s the case of Vallejo. Clearly it didn’t work out.”
The 22-year-old centre back has made just seven appearances and only one Premier League start – the 5-2 defeat against Chelsea – while he hasn’t featured since the 2-1 Carabao Cup defeat away to Aston Villa on October 30.
His only other top-flight game off the bench in the 1-1 draw against Southampton when Ryan Bennett limped off with a hamstring injury.
Madrid are concerned at Vallejo’s lack of game time and the Spain Under-21 captain is behind Bennett, Leander Dendoncker, Conor Coady, Romain Saiss and Max Kilman in the pecking order at Wolves.
A replacement for Vallejo seems unlikely, given the boost that Willy Boly is making good progress from his broken ankle and should be fit earlier than expected, plus the form of Saiss and Kilman in his place.
Nuno hinted that the way the loan has gone has convinced him and his staff to go in a different direction in future.
“There are several ways for you to improve – you have to find new solutions – that’s what we’re trying to do, and sometimes just to try to bring that can give you different characteristics to the team,” he said.
“This is what we’re going to do – bring players that can give us different things to the team that will allow us to keep on growing and improving.
“You have to make decisions – you have to look where you are, how you have performed until now, so where do you want to go?”
Wolves were hugely impressed by Vallejo’s attitude and professionalism, while the defender settled well into life in England, but his performances haven’t convinced as he struggled with the intensity and physicality of the Premier League.
Real Madrid are now expected to loan Vallejo out again to increase his experience. Eintracht Frankfurt, where he spent the 2016-17 season making 25 Bundesliga appearances, have been linked with a return move for him.
Other potential suitors for Vallejo are surprise packet Granada, who are 11th after being promoted last season, and fellow La Liga outfit Leganes, who are second bottom, three points above Wolves’ next Europa League opponents Espanyol.