Patrick Cutrone: Wolves striker needs time to settle in, says Nuno

"He's integrating into the dynamic of the team. It's not easy to be already where we expect him to be."

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Last Updated: 29/10/19 12:03pm

Patrick Cutrone is working hard to integrate himself into the first team at Wolves following his summer transfer from AC Milan, according to head coach Nuno Espirito Santo
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Patrick Cutrone is working hard to integrate himself into the first team at Wolves following his summer transfer from AC Milan, according to head coach Nuno Espirito Santo

Wolves head coach Nuno Espirito Santo has admitted to Sky Sports News that new signing Patrick Cutrone is not "where we expect him to be", but is backing him to make an impact at the club.

The Italian striker, who joined from AC Milan in the summer for a fee believed to be around £23m, has only started three Premier League games for Wolves this season.

He was substituted at half-time after Wolves fell behind to Slovan Bratislava in the Europa League last week, but Nuno acknowledges the 21-year-old is still taking time to adapt at his new club.

"He's integrating into the dynamic of the team," said Nuno. "It's not easy to be already where we expect him to be. It takes time but the best thing is he's on to it, he wants it, he works hard. We're expecting good things from him."

Cutrone started Wolves' impressive 2-0 win over Manchester City at the Etihad earlier this month

Cutrone has only scored one goal this season was not called into action from the bench as his Wolves team-mates came from behind to draw 1-1 at Newcastle on Super Sunday.

He is not the only high-profile signing to struggle for game-time at Molineux this season; centre-back Jesus Vallejo joined on loan from Real Madrid with high expectations, but has only started two Premier League games so far.

It appears Nuno will not rush bringing new players into the side until they are used to his exact systems and playing styles.

"It's not easy, it's a challenge," added the Wolves boss. "This is what we want from players, to be taken out of their comfort zone and always be able to upgrade their performances."

'Embrace this challenge'

Cutrone and Vallejo will take comfort from Leander Dendoncker and Adama Traore's first seasons at the club. Dendoncker had to wait until January for his first start in the league, while Traore only made the starting line-up on eight occasions. Both players have taken on far larger roles in recent months.

Another source of optimism for Cutrone is the fact Wolves have had the fewest shots in the Premier League this season. If he can impress taskmaster Nuno in training, he could be the man they call upon to improve that statistic.

Diogo Jota has been Cutrone's main rival for a place in Nuno's starting XI

Wolves' Premier League season can be looked at in a 'glass half empty' or 'glass half full' way. They have only won two games but have only been defeated twice too, with the other six games ending in draws. However, Nuno is refusing to blame his side's busier schedule now they are competing in Europe.

"I'm happy. For me it's not important with the results, it's how we embrace this challenge," said the Portuguese, whose side lies 12th in the table.

"Every moment it doesn't go well is a moment of frustration, even in training sessions. There are moments of frustrations, there are moments of happiness, but that doesn't distract us.

"Of all of the games we've had so far, we always compete. Be it wins or losses, we always compete and that's important to us."

Wolves travel to face Aston Villa in the Carabao Cup fourth round on Wednesday night, while their next Premier League encounter is at Arsenal on Saturday. Whether Cutrone or Vallejo will be given the chance to impress remains to be seen.

Watch Wolves vs Aston Villa on Super Sunday on November 10 from 1pm on Sky Sports Premier League; Kick-off 2pm.