‘In my plans’: 21-year-old does have a place at Wolves this season, Gary O’Neil says

Gary O’Neil, the manager of Wolves, has reassured midfielder Joe Hodge about his future at Molineux following Hodge’s request for more playing time. Hodge, a 21-year-old midfielder, has yet to make an appearance in the Premier League under O’Neil, which left him feeling frustrated during the recent international break. He even hinted that he might consider leaving Wolves in January if the situation doesn’t improve, which is even more frustrating considering his desire to be a regular starter was evident when Julen Lopetegui was in charge.

Now, Gary O’Neil has addressed the situation. He expressed that he has no issues with Joe Hodge and acknowledged that the midfielder has had injury problems. O’Neil explained that Hodge is part of his plans, but he understands the frustration that comes with not playing as much as desired, emphasizing that many players face the same situation. O’Neil then presented Hodge with an ultimatum, urging him to work hard for his chance or consider other options, whether it’s staying and fighting for a place or seeking a move.

Wolverhampton Wanderers: Joe Hodge on Wolves' pre-season - BBC Sport

Although Hodge deserves an opportunity, it appears unlikely that he will get one given the competition from other midfielders. Joao Gomes and Mario Lemina are the primary starters, and Tommy Doyle has also put himself in contention. Boubacar Traore ranks above Hodge, leaving him as the fifth choice. Consequently, it is suggested that a loan to a Championship side in January should be considered, as it would provide Hodge with the game-time he needs to further develop his skills.

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