Friday, July 1, 2022

Wolves Were Willing To Let This Promising Midfielder Leave Last Summer: Should Lage Change His View?

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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.

In a recent interview with Give Me Sport, transfer insider Dean Jones revealed that Wolverhampton Wanderers were willing to let Ruben Neves leave last summer. Jones said,

“Tottenham offered some money, it wasn’t enough and they weren’t willing to go higher.

“It’s a bit of a strange one because the signals over the summer had been that Traore and Neves would be available.

“I think that came as a bit of a surprise to everyone.”

Neves’ Impressive Form In English Football Last Season

Neves had a solid campaign at the Molineux Stadium last season when he put in a run of impressive displays alongside Joao Moutinho at the heart of the Wolves midfield. The Portugal international participated in 40 matches for the West Midlands side in the previous campaign, netting five goals and securing two assists in the process on all fronts.

The 24-year-old deserves a lot of credit for averaging 2.4 tackles, 1.8 interceptions, 1.1 clearances, 1.9 shots and 0.9 key passes per 90 minutes in the Premier League last season. He was even tidy when distributing possession from midfield after making 84.4% of his attempted passes in the English top-flight (stats via whoscored).

Wolves were willing to let Ruben Neves leave last summer (Neves is seen in the photo)
EDITORIAL USE ONLY No use with unauthorised audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or live services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Mandatory Credit: Photo by Ian Tuttle/BPI/Shutterstock 11777012ds 27.02.2021 Newcastle United v Wolverhampton Wanderers, Premier League. Jon Super/NMC Pool Ruben Neves of Wolverhampton Wanderers scores and celebrates 1-1 Charlton Athletic v Blackpool, EFL Sky Bet League One, Football, The Valley, London, UK – 27 Feb 2021 Charlton Athletic v Blackpool, EFL Sky Bet League One, Football, The Valley, London, UK – 27 Feb 2021 EDITORIAL USE ONLY No use with unauthorised audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or live services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. PUBLICATIONxINxGERxSUIxAUTXHUNxGRExMLTxCYPxROMxBULxUAExKSAxONLY Copyright: xIanxTuttle/BPI/Shutterstockx 11777012ds

Should Bruno Lage Change His Stance On Letting Neves Leave?

Neves is a tough-tackling central midfielder who has got the hunger to make some crucial interceptions in midfield. He can also offer cover for his teammates at the back and is not afraid to step in to clear the danger when needed.

The 24-time Portugal international can play a wide variety of passes and is proficient at keeping the ball moving without breaking a sweat at the centre of the park. He has chipped in with some important goals from long range but needs to work on adding more assists to his game.

Neves is currently one of the first names in Bruno Lage’s teamsheet. He is still under contract at the Molineux Stadium until 2024, so Wolves have no immediate need to cash in him. Therefore, the West Midlands outfit should think about changing their stance on letting Neves leave as he remains an irreplaceable member of Lage’s midfield. At 24, the Portuguese talent’s best years are ahead of him. Thus, Wolves would be better off keeping hold of him for the long run as he could help them push for European football once again in the coming seasons.

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