Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Tottenham Hotspur Listed As Contender For Wolves Midfielder: What Will He Add To Mourinho’s Team?

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Abhinab Ghosh
A 26-year-old sports writer and an aspiring football coach who has road-tripped across the Scottish Highlands, but has never been to Wales. Sucker for cliff-hangers and catchy riffs. Known to be a grunger and not to be a stranger.

According to a recent report by Le10Sport, Tottenham Hotspur have been listed as one of the contenders for Wolverhampton Wanderers midfielder Ruben Neves this summer. The same source has also claimed that the Portuguese playmaker appeals to Spurs boss Jose Mourinho very much, so if Wolves decide to sell him, then he could end up making a switch to North London in this off-season.

Neves’ Impressive Form For Wolves In Both Domestic And European Competitions

Neves has enjoyed another solid season at the Molineux Stadium after putting in several eye-catching performances alongside his countrymen and club teammate, Joao Moutinho at the heart of Nuno Espirito Santo’s midfield. He has registered four goals, and two assists in 43 appearances for the West Midlands outfit this term on all fronts which shed light on his growing impact in the attacking third of the pitch.

The Portuguese international has earned a lot of plaudits for his all-round contributions in midfield as he has averaged 1.5 tackles, 1.6 interceptions, 0.8 clearances, 1.8 shots, 0.8 key passes, 0.7 dribbles and 5.5 long balls per game in the Premier League and the UEFA Europa League this season. Neves has also been quite tidy with his ball-distribution in Europe after completing 84.7% of his attempted passes in the seven Europa League matches he has been a part of so far (stats via whoscored).

The former FC Porto midfield ace has earned 16 senior caps for the Portuguese national side but is yet to net his first goal for his country. Maybe a high profile switch to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium this summer could help him take the next step in his career as he will get the chance to work with a highly successful manager in Mourinho.

Tottenham Hotspur listed as a contender for Ruben Neves who is seen in the photo
Kenedy of Newcastle United evades Ruben Neves of Wolverhampton Wanderers during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Wolverhampton Wanderers at St. James Park on December 9, 2018, in Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

What Will The Portuguese Talent Add To Mourinho’s Team?

Neves does a decent defensive job as a holding midfielder as he can make a few well-timed tackles to secure possession back for his side. He has also got a wide range of passes in his locker and is usually quite adventurous with his ball-distribution from midfield. The Wolves midfielder can strike the ball with a lot of venom and accuracy which makes him a potent goal-threat from long range. He is also a set-piece specialist due to his ability to deliver quality crosses and powerful shots from dead-ball situations in the opposition half.

However, the Portuguese star can sometimes be caught ball-watching due to his inability to get up and down the pitch because of his lack of pace and physicality. Even then, Neves ticks all the right boxes in terms of what Mourinho demands from his midfielders. He will not only add more bite and steel to Tottenham’s midfield but also offer more creativity and variety going forward.

At 23, Neves is only going to get better with age, and there are only a few that are better qualified than Mourinho to get the best out of him in the years to come. With all things considered, the 2019 UEFA Nations League winner will be a blockbuster signing for Spurs if they can somehow manage to pull off a move to bring him to the English capital before the start of the new season.

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