Manchester United Leading Arsenal In Race For Wolves Midfielder: The Right Choice For Solskjaer?

Wolves were willing to let Ruben Neves leave last summer (Neves is seen in the picture)
Wolverhampton Wanderers v West Ham United Premier League 05/04/2021. Wolverhampton Wanderers midfielder Ruben Neves 8 during the Premier League match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and West Ham United at Molineux, Wolverhampton, England on 5 April 2021. Wolverhampton Molineux West Midlands England Editorial use only DataCo restrictions apply See PUBLICATIONxNOTxINxUK , Copyright: xSimonxDaviesx PSI-12366-0098

Recent reports from talkSPORT suggest that Manchester United have leapfrogged Arsenal in the quest for Ruben Neves’ signature as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer looks set to add to options at the centre of the park.

“Neves is another player Mikel Arteta has been monitoring very closely, but the trail seems to have gone cold there over a move to Arsenal.” Alex Crook told talkSPORT.

“Wolves have their price tag, £35m, and they’re willing to do business to try and generate some funds for their new manager Bruno Lage.”

“Liverpool were mentioned to me, but there’s definite interest from Manchester United. Ruben Neves is a Portuguese teammate of Bruno Fernandes, and he is actively trying to push Neves towards Old Trafford. They do want another midfielder regardless of Paul Pogba’s future at the club.”

The report further states that Manchester United are willing to offer a fee in the region of £35 million for the 24-year-old midfielder.

Neves’ Form At The Molineux Last Season

The 2020/21 campaign turned out to be a disappointment for Wolverhampton Wanderers, with the entire team struggling for form. Nonetheless, Ruben Neves was one of the few bright sparks in his team.

Manchester United Leading The Race For Ruben Neves (Ruben Neves can be seen in the picture)
Southampton v Wolverhampton Wanderers – Premier League – St Mary s Stadium Wolverhampton Wanderers Ruben Neves celebrates scoring their side s first goal of the game from a penalty during the Premier League match at St Mary s Stadium, Southampton. Picture date: Sunday, February 14, 2021. EDITORIAL USE ONLY PUBLICATIONxINxGERxSUIxAUTxONLY Copyright: xAndyxRainx 58081416

The Portugal international managed to put up some decent numbers on the board the 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.

Neves is a player with real aggression and has the versatility to fit in a lot of positions. The midfielder 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 Solskjaer?

Nemanja Matic will turn 33 next month, whereas Paul Pogba’s future at the club still seems uncertain as he hasn’t penned down a new contract yet. Ruben Neves can act as a direct replacement for the Frenchman in the long term but could be initially asked to fill in the defensive midfield position.

His arrival at Old Trafford will undoubtedly strengthen Solskjaer’s midfield department, and at 24, the Portuguese star has a lot to offer. Hence, it won’t be a complete surprise if Manchester United go to great lengths to secure his signature.

The Red Devils certainly need to add more options in the department soon enough, and a move for the midfielder would certainly benefit them.

(Stats from WhoScored)

Pratik Das

The youngest member of The 4th Official and an ardent Premier League fan who is basically obsessed with scouting young talents and is consumed by the idea of finding the perfect number 10.