Recent reports from Birmingham Live suggest that Arsenal are interested in signing Wolverhampton Wanderers midfielder Ruben Neves in the ongoing transfer window as Mikel Arteta looks set to add to his options at the centre of the park.
The report further states that the Gunners are willing to offer Ainsley Maitland-Niles as part of the deal; however, with Neves’ contract running until 20204, Wolves are in no hurry to part ways with the player.
Maitland-Niles was close to completing a move to the Molineux after Matt Doherty’s departure last year, but the deal failed to materialise for some reason. However, after a second-half loan spell with West Brom Albion, the 23-year-old cleared the speculations regarding his future.
“I’ve got two years left on my contract, so I’m due to be going back there.” – Maitland-Niles said recently.
“Obviously, once I do go back, I need to speak to the manager and see where he sees me, see what ideas he has, and we can move on from there.”
“But I hope I can get some clarity for me, as in the player that he sees me, the role he sees me in, and we can take it from there.”
“The main thing that’s needed is clarity. You need clarity for both parties, or however many parties are involved, you just need clarity. Once that stuff is worked out, everything else will follow from there.”
Neeves’ Form At The Molineux Last Season
The 2020/21 campaign turned out to be a disappointment for Wolves, with the entire team struggling for form. Nonetheless, Ruben Neves was one of the few bright sparks in his team.
The 24-year-old midfielder managed to put up some decent numbers on the board last term as he averaged 2.4 tackles, 1.8 interceptions, 1.4 dribbles, 1.1 clearances, 5.3 long balls, and 54.9 passes per 90 minutes in the league with an overall accuracy of 84.4%. Furthermore, with an average WhoScored rating of 6.81 (over 36 appearances), Neves was one of his side’s best players last season.
With attributes like aggression and versatility, he could develop into a more serious threat if provided with a better system and set of players around him.
Is He The Right Choice For Arteta?
Granit Xhaka could leave Arsenal in the coming days with Jose Mourinho keen on securing his services for a fee of around £15million. His departure would naturally leave a big hole in Arsenal’s midfield.
Besides being a long term replacement, Ruben Neves will be an ideal upgrade over the Swiss international. At 24, the Portuguese star still has a lot to offer, so it won’t be a complete surprise if Arsenal break the bank to secure his signature.
The Gunners certainly need to add more options in the department soon enough, and a move for the midfielder would certainly benefit them.
(Stats from WhoScored)
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