Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Barcelona Identify This Wolves Midfielder As A Target: What Will He Add To Xavi’s Side?

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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 report, Marca stated that Barcelona have identified Wolverhampton Wanderers midfielder Ruben Neves as a target. It is understood that the Catalan club are eyeing the Portuguese talent as a replacement for Sergio Busquets next summer.

Neves’ Impressive Form In English Football

The 25-year-old has made a decent start to this campaign as he has produced some impressive displays at the heart of Bruno Lage’s midfield. The Portuguese midfield ace has participated in eight matches for Wolves this season, finding the back of the net once and picking up four yellow cards in the process across all competitions.

Neves has proved himself to be an influential presence at the centre of Wolves’ midfield by averaging 3.9 tackles, 2.0 interceptions, 3.1 clearances, 1.6 shots and 1.0 key passes per 90 minutes in Premier League football. He has even been tidy when interchanging possession with his teammates after making 85.5% of his attempted passes in the English top tier (stats via whoscored).

Neves’ current contract with the West Midlands club will expire in the summer of 2024, so Barca will have a good chance of recruiting him on the cheap at the end of this season when he will just have a year left on his deal.

Nou Camp
Nou Camp

What Will Neves Add To Barcelona Head Coach Xavi’s Side?

Neves is a solid tackler of the ball and can sense the danger quickly to earn possession back for his side in the middle of the park. He doesn’t take too many risks when putting his foot through the ball inside his half. Neves is primarily a defensive midfielder but can also operate as a box-to-box midfielder if told to do so.

The Portugal international is a good passer and has got the vision to create some decent chances in the final third. He can even strike the ball with a lot of power from long-range.

Someone of Neves’ skillset would no doubt enhance the quality of Barcelona‘s squad next summer. We can expect him to add more bite and steel as well as some creativity to Xavi‘s midfield at the Nou Camp.

At 25, Neves is maturing into a top talent which makes him a good option for Barca to consider next summer. However, only time will tell whether he has what it takes to make a smooth transition to life in Spanish football if Xavi manages to get him on board at the end of this campaign.

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