Liam Keen comment: Morgan Gibbs-White loan could pay off with interest for Wolves

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Morgan Gibbs-White. Photo: Zac Goodwin/PA Wire.

The 22-year-old enjoyed a successful season on loan at Sheffield United, where he netted 12 goals and 10 assists in 37 appearances.

He scored in Tuesday’s play-off semi-final second leg against Nottingham Forest, before eventually missing the decisive penalty that saw United crash out – and their absence from the Premier League next season could work in Wolves’ favour.

If United had been promoted, one of their first summer targets would have been Gibbs-White on a permanent transfer – a move that would have appealed to the youngster – but it’s now hard to believe he’ll be playing anywhere below the Premier League next season.

While this will benefit Wolves, Gibbs-White will certainly have no shortage of suitors in the coming months – with AC Milan now linked – and Wolves have a decision to make.

Every transfer is a risk, whether domestic or otherwise, and while a player returning from loan is an entirely different situation, Wolves need to take that calculated risk.

Right now, Gibbs-White can demand a fee of around £15m after his impressive performances but letting him go at this stage could be a mistake.

If he follows in the footsteps of Mason Mount and Harvey Barnes, Gibbs-White could be the latest Premier League star to fight his way into the Championship.

Jarrod Bowen is another. The second tier of English football is a great testing ground for talent and Wolves are now poised to reap the rewards.

It’s important to remember that Gibbs-White was on a good loan spell at Swansea before an injury setback and after his struggles on the pitch for Wolves – and controversies off it – he seems to have matured as a professional.

It may not work and in hindsight keeping it and not cashing in may be a mistake, but with the numbers he has provided this season he has earned the opportunity to work his way into this team of Shy Wolves. Wolves could also do without another Pedro Goncalves-style error.

Despite all that, it will depend on playing time. Bruno Lage wanted to keep Gibbs-White this summer but he was adamant that he wanted to play regularly, which Lage couldn’t guarantee. The head coach then tried to bring him back in January, but he was keen to return to United once he got over his minor injury problem. If he is to return to Wolves for next season, he will want playing time assurances and it may finally be time to give him that chance.

He could also fit into the system, either as a tight winger in a front three or as a third midfielder in the 3-5-2. Even if Lage changes formation, Gibbs-White could provide creativity that Wolves have at times lacked this season.

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