Nuno Espirito Santo says Rui Patricio ‘can still improve’

Wolves boss Nuno Espirito says goalkeeper Rui Patricio still has room for improvement despite the Portugal star’s stellar performances for the club since his arrival from Sporting Lisbon in 2018.

Patricio’s four clean sheets in the top flight this season are matched only by Aston Villa’s Emiliano Martinez and Southampton’s Alex McCarthy, against whom he can expect to go head to head at Molineux on Monday night.

In total the 32-year-old has kept 24 clean sheets in his 83 league games for Wolves having arrived with a bank of experience including playing a major role in his country’s 2016 European Championship success.

Nuno said: “When he joined us he was a top goalkeeper and a European champion who had played almost 100 games for Portugal.

“He has been amazing for us this season, but we know there are aspects he can still improve and this is what we are working on.”

It was not just his £16million price tag that ensured Patricio arrived in the Midlands with big expectations, but former Wolves keeper Matt Murray believes his performances since have made that sum “an absolute snip”.

Murray told local media: “Obviously you’ve got your elite keepers like Alisson and Ederson but all in all, with the way we play and the saves he makes, I don’t think there’s any more consistent campaigner in the Premier League.”

Nuno admits his preparations for the clash with in-form Saints has been far from perfect given his players’ relatively late arrival back from the international break.

He admitted: “It’s always difficult when we have the team travelling. It was a nightmare for the testing protocols to attend to all the players landing on different flights all over the country.”