'Hoever was not prepared' - Wolves boss Lage slams defender for picking up injury in Crystal Palace loss

Ki-Jana Hoever Wolves 2021-22Getty

Wolves manager Bruno Lage was furious to see Ki-Jana Hoever hobble off early during his side's defeat to Crystal Palace on Saturday.

The 20-year-old lasted less than half an hour at Molineux before he was forced off through a muscle injury.

In his absence, Wolves went down 2-0 to the Londoners, a result that put a significant dent in their European aspirations.

What was said?

“Ki is a good example of the young kids, the young players, they want everything to happen," Lage fired to reporters after the final whistle.

“When you are out and your team-mate is playing, you are not training at the intensity you need to train, you're not preparing yourselves enough. And when you have a chance, these kind of things happen.

“I have too many kids in my team, sometimes they don't work the way they should work. They don't prepare the way they should prepare.

“And after, when they come [into the team], these kind of things happen. When they are in training, they're thinking a lot; 'Oh I'm not playing, how am I not playing'.

“I said to them on the first day, we are here, the first target is to work and improve.

“Injuries can happen, but this one happened because he's not prepared. Because sometimes Ki doesn't work in the same intensity.

“It's just not for Ki, it's more kids in our team who need to understand I don't waste time with guys who don't work hard every day to improve."

The bigger picture

A product of Ajax's famed youth academy, big things were expected of Hoever when he moved to Liverpool aged just 16.

But despite becoming the club's third-youngest player in history when he made his debut in 2019, the defender did not make the grade at Anfield and appeared just four times under Jurgen Klopp before moving to Wolves in 2021.

Hoever has also been used sparingly by his current employers, with Saturday's brief cameo just his eighth Premier League game of the 2021-22 campaign.

Further reading