Midfielder Closing In Fast On Cherished Place
Romain Saiss’s involvement at the African Cup of Nations makes it ever more likely that Ruben Neves will become the next Wolves player to enter the Legends area of this website.
The Portuguese midfielder is due to graduate by taking his total of competitive first-team appearances for the club past 200 – a milestone he should reach some time next month.
He is currently on 196 games and we hope and trust that the significant transfer-market speculation around him dies down as we near the end of January.
Saiss was brought to Molineux almost a year before the former Porto man and is within sight of the landmark himself, having played 187 senior games.
But he is currently on international duty, leading Morocco to a 1-0 victory over Ghana in their opening group game and now preparing to face Comoros this afternoon.
And how about this for a layer of context that is guaranteed to make a few of us feel old?
Saiss was born in the spring of 1990, a few weeks before Steve Bull departed with his England team-mates for Italia 90.
We can use another Bully memory to illustrate when Neves took his first gulps of air in the outside world. He arrived on March 13, 1997, two days before the striker scored and was then sent off in a costly defeat for Mark McGhee’s Wolves at Oldham.
Joao Mouninho is another Wolves man whose appearance tally is climbing fast, his 159 games leaving Willy Boly (137) and Leander Dendoncker (138) well in his wake.
Compare his rate of accumulation with that of the patient John Ruddy, whose clean sheet in the FA Cup win over Sheffield United last weekend came in only his 69th first-team match for the club – spaced out across four and a half years.
Moutinho and Ruddy were born in September and October, respectively, of 1986. That was the autumn in which Graham Turner and then Bully arrived at Molineux.