In the recent Wolves victory against Burnley at Molineux, Hwang Hee-chan’s stellar performance and Dan Bentley’s goalkeeping prowess have created a dilemma for Wolves manager Gary O’Neil.
Hwang Hee-chan demonstrated his exceptional form by scoring his eighth Premier League goal of the season. His clinical finish just before halftime resulted from a well-executed sequence initiated by Wolves, forcing a mistake from Burnley.
Mario Lemina’s pressure on Sander Berge led to a turnover, with Pablo Sarabia delivering the ball to Matheus Cunha. Cunha, in turn, found the unmarked Hwang, who calmly converted the opportunity.
However, another standout player in the match was goalkeeper Dan Bentley. Called into action due to Jose Sa’s inability to fully recover from an injury sustained against Arsenal, Bentley stepped up admirably. Despite O’Neil expressing hope for Sa’s availability, the Portuguese goalkeeper wasn’t deemed fit in the end. Following the victory over Burnley, O’Neil acknowledged Sa’s proximity to playing but noted that he didn’t feel completely at 100%. Consequently, Bentley, earning £10,000 a week, assumed the starting position.
Bentley’s performance was highlighted by a remarkable double save in the first half, denying Jay Rodriguez and then Josh Brownhill. His agility and quick recovery from the initial save, thwarting Brownhill’s volley, showcased his goalkeeping prowess. While Bentley didn’t face much action aside from these crucial saves, he had previously put in a solid performance against Arsenal.
O’Neil now faces a dilemma. Although Sa is considered the superior goalkeeper, Bentley’s commendable performances raise questions about whether he deserves to be dropped. The £10,000-a-week goalkeeper has shown resilience and skill since stepping in, prompting O’Neil to ponder the message conveyed by immediately reinstating Sa. Bentley, vocal about his desire for regular playing time and not merely serving as Sa’s backup, has emphasized his commitment to contributing to the team.
As Sa is expected to be available for selection again, O’Neil is confronted with a challenging decision. Given O’Neil’s past loyalty to players delivering consistent performances, Bentley may have a genuine chance to retain his starting role. The manager’s choice will be closely observed, adding an element of intrigue to the Wolves’ upcoming clash against Nottingham Forest.