£13.5m-rated Wolves ace conjures up concerning moment on international duty – opinion

This article is part of Football FanCast’s In Numbers series, which takes a statistical look at performances, season-long form and reported transfer targets… 

Matt Doherty was a revelation for Wolves in 2018/19.

The Republic of Ireland international contributed four goals and a further five assists in the Premier League as his performances at right-wing back provided valuable moments for Nuno Santo and his men.

One of their most consistent performers, his 2019/20 campaign has been more difficult.

Having to withstand an injury blow, he’s started just eight of Wolves’ first 12 league outings and as such, has scored only one goal and failed to pick out a teammate for an assist.

Struggling to replicate the heights he delivered on a regular basis at Molineux last term, he was bumped down the pecking order by a rampant Adama Traore.

He’s been fortunate that the Spaniard is now being utilised slightly further forward but after this international break, there are both reasons to be concerned and positive.

Matt Doherty Republic of Ireland vs Denmark - £13.5m-rated Wolves ace conjures up concerning moment on international duty - opinion

What was promising to see was the fact that Doherty was back on the scoresheet.

Rising highest with around five minutes left, the defender found the back of the net with his head at the back post to rescue a point that was ultimately in vain for his country as they failed to qualify automatically for Euro 2020.

Going forward, the 27-year-old was his effervescent self, performing one cross and also managing four accurate long balls. His goal was also a testament to the quality he has in the final third.

However, it was the defensive side of his game that should be somewhat of a concern. Making just one interception showed he wasn’t too involved and the role he played in Denmark’s opener was far from ideal.

He allowed Martin Braithwaite to ghost in behind him as his awareness and positioning left him wanting. It was a moment that proved costly for Doherty’s country and incidents like that makes it no surprise that Wolves are tracking a player of a similar nature in Aurelio Buta (The Sunday Mirror, 17/11).

Speaking after the game, he was more than willing to put his hands up. Doherty said: “I’m really upset now that I followed him in and he managed to get in front of me and managed to get the goal, I’m really disappointed.”

It was a mature response from the £13.5m-rated Irishman who will be eager to bounce back when Wolves take on Bournemouth at the weekend.

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