Wolverhampton Wanderers dream return to the English Premier League got better on Saturday. Despite being eliminated from the FA Cup at the semifinal stage, Wolverhampton Wanderers qualified for next season’s Europe League courtesy of Manchester City’s FA Cup Final 6-0 demolition of Watford.
Nuno Espirito Santo’s team, who celebrated winning the Championship this time a year ago, will now compete in the Europa League second qualifying round come August. Seventy-four teams will compete in the second qualifying round of the tournament and Wolves must win three ties, navigating six matches to make the group stage proper.
Europa League 2019-20
It is a journey that took its toll on Burnley in 2018-19. Manager Sean Dyche’s team, which was low on quality depth, was knocked out of the tournament at the playoff-round by Olympiacos. Burnley just staved off relegation having struggled with fatigue due to the extra games in Europe.
Wolverhampton Wanderers won’t have that same issue. At least they shouldn’t. Their seventh-place finish should see the club receive £123.9 million in prize money, TV income, and equal share, according to Planet Football.
Wolverhampton Wanderers have not played European football since 1980. If they can make the group stage, it will be one of the biggest celebrations the Black Country has seen in decades.
New Players on the Way
The money combined with a cash injection from owners Fosun International should see Wolverhampton Wanderers sign new talent to continue their incredible rise.
There is a caveat to Wolverhampton Wanderers’ great season as key players may be courted by other clubs. Diego Jota and Ruben Neves are two players Wolverhampton Wanderers may have difficulty holding on to.
The club does have some deadwood it wants to cut. Ivan Cavaleiro is likely to leave. Wolverhampton Wanderers have put a £12m price tag on the forward with Newcastle interested.
Wolves are linked with several players with European experience. AC Milan’s Andre Silva, who is currently on loan at Sevilla and ready to leave due to differences with manager Joaquin Caparros, is one player rumoured to arrive at the Molineaux Stadium. A little closer to the Black Country, former Liverpool player and current Stoke City midfielder Joe Allen is also linked with a move to the Old Gold.
Growth on and off the Pitch
Wolverhampton Wanderers are not just growing on the pitch, but they are getting bigger off of it. In February, Wolverhampton announced they would expand Molineaux by nearly 50%. The stadium would go from just over 32,000 to almost 50,000 capacity. The club plans to begin work in the summer of 2020 on the stadium works.
Not only will the stadium have a larger capacity, it will be renovated on the outside. Renderings of the re-developed ground gives it a distinct look similar to other major stadiums around Europe.
Nearly 40 years ago, Wolverhampton Wanderers began a decade of decline. At one time, the club nearly went out of business thanks to the debts it had incurred. Now, Wolverhampton Wanderers are headed back to Europe, just one season on from winning the Championship.
With a great tactical manager at the helm and owners ready to invest in the club, Wolverhampton Wanderers may be challenging the top six next season.