Bruno Jordão has been on the fringes of the Wolverhampton Wanderers first-team since joining from Lazio along with Pedro Neto for a figure estimated to be around 20 million euros.
Since then, three years have passed with little progress from the player who is now 23 years of age – here is the lowdown on his next move, the player himself, and what can be expected of him in the future.
First of all – who actually is he?
Many Wolves fans have very little recollection of the Portuguese midfielder in the gold and black, which is fair considering his measly four first-team appearances, and nine Premier League 2 appearances for the Under-21 squad.
The former U21 Portuguese international is an attacking minded central midfielder who has undergone loan spells at Swiss Wolves affiliate side Grasshoppers, as well as Portuguese outfit Famalicao, both with concrete connections to super-agent Jorge Mendes.
Jordão arrived at Wolves with doubts around his price tag – a high price for a player with little to no senior football experience, many believing that there was a heavy Jorge Mendes influence in the deal, despite still being a promising footballer from his days at SC Braga, one of the biggest clubs in Portugal where he spent most of his development years along with the historic Uniao de Leiria of the Portuguese Third Division.
Jordão is a composed figure in the middle of the park comfortable in the art of ball carrying. The link up play of the Marinha Grande native is silky and easy on the eye, with Bruno taking care of the ball while at his feet, possessing a good first touch and elegant dribbling ability, as well as a solid finishing ability and passing range. At 5ft11, the Wolves number 6 is very agile for his frame, but lacks some intensity in his game, isn’t the strongest figure in the midst of a tough duel and is somewhat poor in defensive transitions.
Jordão is a solid ball carrier and can link play well as mentioned previously but is most comfortable as the most advanced midfield with defensive support behind, due to being poor in that department.
The player is somewhat similar to a younger Pedro Goncalves, the former Wolves midfielder turn inside forward for Sporting who is now shining after a period at Famalicao, funnily enough, Jordão replaced ‘Pote’ at ‘Fama’. He was somewhat irregular for the ‘Famalicenses’, suffering from injuries, and some inconsistent performances much like the rest of the side, barring a few outstanding moves and moments.
What to expect from him at Santa Clara
It has been a difficult summer for the Azorean club, losing key figures such as Cryzan, Lincoln, Hidemasa Morita, Mikel Villanueva and Rafael Ramos all in the same window, and have only picked up the one point in two league matches.
UEFA Youth League winner Mario Silva will have a task on his hands to successfully replace these influential squad members, and Jordão seems to be the Lincoln replacement, although it is far from being a direct swap due to a difference in play style.
The promising coach has won a self-proclaimed title in finishing 7th with the side he took over mid-season, in the midst of a lot of uncertainty revolving a permanent contract, exits of players, and deferred payments of salaries to players – a feat not to be underestimated.
However, it is not all doom and gloom. The arrivals of Xavi Quintilla and Tomas Domingos are solid pickups, the 45-year-old highly rated manager can clearly work with little, and there is still quality within the Santa Clara ranks.
Jordão looks set to be playing his football for the next year at the Estádio de São Miguel on loan without a buyout clause, according to Pedro Sepulveda, and the tactical fit seems ideal – a 4231, or 433, with a manager who likes to play progressive stuff with the ball on the ground and has gotten the best out of younger talent in the past with a golden generation of the Porto Olival academy.
With the confidence of his coach, a system where he can play to his strengths and without injury, Jordão could be set for a breakout season – remembering that he hasn’t played over 12 games in a season since his Braga B days during his development.
His story at Wolves looks set for a finish with the return of Morgan Gibbs-White, the arrival of Matheus Nunes, and involvement of Connor Ronan, only an elite season could give him a second chance, and he has a higher chance than ever at a club who in 2021 was battling in the Europa Conference League qualification rounds.