Bright Enobakhare: Can Nigerian wonderkid be Wolves' ace up the sleeve?

Bright Enobakhare of Wolves Michael Regan/Getty Images

Ahead of Wolves' EFL Championship clash with Aston Villa on Saturday, a match which is being shown live on Kwesé Sports 1 at 19:30 CAT, the Old Gold find themselves flying high in the second tier, but there are reasons to doubt whether they will last the course.

One of the big decisions that new coach Nuno Espirito Santo made during the summer was agreeing to sell Mali's Nouha Dicko.

The versatile attacker opted to move to Hull City - one of Wolves' would-be promotion rivals - for a fee of £3.5 million, as the incoming Sao Tomean coach opted to place his faith in other offensive options.

Admittedly, Dicko hasn't quite reached his top form in recent seasons after suffering an injury-hit 2015-16 campaign. However, he nonetheless made seven decisive contributions for Wolves last term, and if he could return to his peak, could be a lethal prospect in the second tier.

Hull fans will surely be hoping that the Malian can rediscover the form he showed in the 2014-15 season, when he scored 14 and contributed six assists, as the Tigers look to secure a return to the top table.

However, if the 25-year-old does realise the potential he showed earlier in his career, then Espirito Santo can expect some backlash, particularly if the players he's chosen to replace the West African with don't succeed.

Again, the former FC Porto boss took a big gamble, recruiting attacking midfielder Diego Jota on loan from Atletico Madrid, and also placing his faith in Brazilian frontman Leo Bonatini, who joins from Al-Hilal as the club's only recognised striker.

So far so good. The duo have scored 10 between them, ensuring that Wolves - currently second in the table - are the division's top scorers, but could the Midlanders' lack of depth in attack hamper them as the season wears on?

A third striking option for the Old Gold - and one who doesn't come with quite the pedigree of Jota or Bonatini - is Nigerian wonderkid Bright Enobakhare, who's shown in recent weeks why he could be Wolves' ace up the sleeve this season.

Indeed, some of the 19-year-old's recent performances have suggested that he might yet emerge as a key player for Wolves as they look to return to the Premier League.

The first few seasons of the teenager's career haven't exactly done much to suggest that he would ever be a major player for the Midlanders.

Enobakhare failed to find the net in his first 27 league games for Wolves, although he did deliver a star turn when he contributed an assist in the away victory at Hull City earlier in the campaign and regularly troubled defenders with his dribbling ability on the right side.

In the last three fixtures, however, only after he'd been dropped by the coach, he's finally burst into life.

The youngster scored the only goal of the game in mid-September as Wolves beat Bristol Rovers in the EFL Cup, and then scored the opener in the 80th minute of the 2-1 victory over Barnsley at the end of the month.

In the aftermath of his winner against Rovers, Espirito Santo called on the Benin City-born teenager to make up for lost time in front of goal.

"It was his first goal for two years and that is too long. It is too much time," the coach began, as per the Birmingham Mail. "Hopefully scoring the winner will give him confidence and start playing catch-up [in front of goal].

"He was in the team to start the season but other players have now come into the team," Espirito Santo added. "The fact he showed the character after going out of the team to fight to get back in is good for us."

While Enobakhare didn't find the net in Wolves' defeat at Sheffield United before the international break - when he was introduced at the break for Bonatini - he still has momentum on his side as he looks to build on his fine recent form.

Perhaps the forward's true value will be felt during the winter, when Wolves' thin striking options will be tested by the gruelling schedule.

However, a big showing in Saturday's Midlands derby against Villa may help assuage any lingering concerns the Old Gold's fans have about their limited striking options.