Jose Fonte believes Bruno Lage can handle the pressure in the Premier League as the former Benfica manager closes in on a move to Wolverhampton Wanderers, speaking to talkSPORT (8 June, 11.45am).
Like Nuno Espirito Santo, Lage is a Portuguese tactician represented by super-agent Jorge Mendes.
That, however, is where the similarities end.
After parting company with Nuno in May, Wolves set their sights on a more attack-minded manager, one capable of coaxing the best out of Pedro Neto, Daniel Podence, Adama Traore and co.
And that’s where Lage comes in.
Can Bruno Lage build on Nuno’s work at Wolves?
His 18-month spell in charge of the Lisbon giants may have ended following a dreadful run of results but, at their best, Lage’s Benfica were a joy to watch.
Inspired by a teenage Joao Felix, Benfica stormed to the 2018/19 Primeira Liga title with a stunning 103 goals to their name, ten of them during a double-figure victory over Nacional.
And Fonte feels Lage’s swashbuckling football, plus a tendency to get the best out of talented youngsters, stands him in good stead as he prepares to replace one of the most popular managers in Wolves’ history.
“I think (Lage) did a good job at Benfica with the youngsters. He’s a quality manager,” says Fonte, the former Southampton and West Ham United defender.
“He won the title at Benfica and he has a good philosophy. He likes to play football, he gives opportunities to the young boys.
“It will be interesting to see if he can succeed. He’s already shown he can deal with the pressure (at Benfica).
“It’s a great challenge for him. The Premier League is the best league in the world.”
Lage may be thrown in at the deep end at Molineux, however, with reports saying two of Wolves’ star players – Ruben Neves and Rui Patricio – are looking to leave in the transfer window.
In other news, Report: QPR in talks to sign player who will cost ‘a hell of a lot’, but swap deal won’t happen