Hobbs | 'Rodrigo was clear that he wanted to come here'

Matt Hobbs believes new wide man Rodrigo Gomes has the required mentality and approach to fit Gary O’Neil’s culture perfectly at Molineux.

The sporting director described the club’s new arrival as “feisty and determined” after he completed a move from SC Braga on a long-term deal, following a campaign featuring nine goals and eight assists while on loan at Estoril.

The 20-year-old Portuguese follows Tommy Doyle as the club’s second permanent signing of the summer and getting the deal over the line at this stage will help Gomes settle into O’Neil’s squad in good time, according to Hobbs.

On welcoming Gomes to the club

“It’s nice to do one early in the summer, so Rodrigo will be able to join the squad for the first day of pre-season, which is great for the player and the coaching staff – they can work with him from the start. He’s a great character, a great boy and will really fit in.

“Scouting has taken a while. He’s a player we’ve followed for most of the season, since he first went on loan. He’s a player we know very, very well and have done an awful lot of work on but getting him in has been relatively smooth because Rodrigo was clear that he wanted to come here and is excited.

“It’s not important to get a deal done early if it’s not the right player, but this is the right player. It’s great for the club to do that. He’ll be an important player for us with his versatility, creativity, technical ability and attitude on the pitch. The fans will love him and I’m genuinely really excited to have him here.”

On a versatile option for O’Neil

“I’d call him a wide player who can play on either side. I’ve seen him play on either wing and centrally. His combination play is good, so he can play ten, but he’s primarily a wide man.

“It’s good if they can play a number of positions. Versatility just for the sake of it doesn’t work, but when they’ve shown quality, players like that really help, meaning we can have fewer players in one position. Primarily his job is to complement the attacking side of our game with his pace and delivery. Versatility is important because he can fill in a number of positions.”

On expectations for the summer ahead

“There is obviously speculation around a lot of our players and that’s because of how well we did last year, and the work Gary is doing on the training pitch to make sure we’re improving and developing.

“This summer is going to be a long, drawn out one. Tournaments only make it more complicated because there will be players who move after then and players who don’t for one reason or another. For us, we’ll keep doing what we’re doing. Where we can, and we think it’s right, we’ll try to keep hold of our assets.

“It's a nice place to be, being able to move early in the window – it’s the dream scenario. That’s why we do our work around the figures which are right for us and the best value in the market. We believe Rodrigo will show that, for what is a relatively low fee, he’ll be a well-thought-out signing.”

On having the mentality to succeed

“Fans will be bored of me talking about character, but it’s so important. If you look at what the boys did last season, they’re a group which, when their backs are up against the wall, they come out fighting. Players we find all have that type of character, because I have a strong belief that’s what is required. Rodrigo’s a feisty lad and has great determination, so the fans will love him.

“I’m not concerned about how he settles because players, by and large, who come with the right attitude tend to settle. The staff will make sure he has everything he needs. The Portuguese boys tend to settle very well because it’s a comfortable environment, especially because we’re getting more South Americans. Next, come back, get your head down and fight to get into Gary’s starting eleven.”