Wolves captain Conor Coady has recalled the moment Joao Moutinho walked through the doors at Molineux and dazzled in his first training session.
The 35-year-old midfield metronome has been an indispensable part of Wolves’ starting XI since relocating to the West Midlands from Monaco in 2018, forming a key on-field relationship with compatriot Ruben Neves.
With Moutinho at the club, Wolves have secured back-to-back seventh-placed finishes in the Premier League in 2018/19 and 2019/20, as well as reaching the Europa League quarter finals in the latter campaign.
Under Bruno Lage, the club are once again occupying seventh in the Premier League table and firmly knocking on the top-six door, looking to break the glass ceiling and secure another place in European football.
With eight Premier League fixtures remaining, Wolves are currently 16/1 to finish inside the top six.
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Moutinho, for his part, has been one of the leading figures attempting to push the club up the table and ask questions of the established order. At 35, he remains one of the division’s best midfield operators, and that is a sentiment echoed by his skipper Coady.
Speaking on the In the Stiffs Podcast, Coady said: “Moutinho came in and you go ‘this fella’s the one’. He’s just special. Smelt a million dollars as well! Tanned, just looking great!
“I remember his first session, he came in and trained with his laces undone. I’m thinking this fella is a joke. He’s a proper player.
“It must have only been a light session but I’d never dream of doing it. I remember at the end of training and trying to make conversation, asking him where he’s thinking about living and he’s just been in Monaco!
“What a player, what a signing he’s been for us. Even now, I think he’s 35 and he’s smashing it every week. Fit as a fiddle, he just keeps going and going. Incredible footballer.”