The midfielder for Wolves is a dangerous deep-lying midfielder…
Liverpool need to strengthen their midfield this summer and have identified Wolverhampton Wanderers midfielder Ruben Neves as a possible transfer target.
What’s the latest on Ruben Neves’ potential move to Liverpool?
According to Spanish outlet Sport, Barcelona are firmly in the driving seat for the transfer of Neves, despite continued interest from Premier League giants such as Jurgen Klopp’s Reds, Arsenal, and Manchester United.
Neves has been impressive for club and country for several years now and appears to be ready to leave Molineux and ply his trade at a Champions League-level club capable of regularly competing for silverware.
The 26-year-old’s contract expires at the end of next season, and with no resolution in sight, he looks set to be allowed to leave in a matter of months.
Should the Reds sign Ruben Neves?
Neves has made 174 Premier League appearances, scoring 21 goals and providing nine assists, and has been the Old Gold’s central talisman since helping orchestrate the club’s rise from the Championship and odyssey to the Europa League quarter-finals.
Neves joined Wolves from Porto in 2017 for around £15 million and has been dubbed “incredible” by teammate Hugo Bueno for his exploits at the heart of his club’s efforts, boasting verve and tenacity to make the ground tremble as he dictates play from the center.
According to FBref, the £50k-per-week ace ranks among the top 10% of midfielders in Europe’s big five leagues for total shots, top 18% for attempted passes and progressive passes, top 2% for blocks, top 12% for clearances, and top 16% for interceptions per 90.
He is, in essence, a midfielder who can do it all: he is the quintessential modern machine.
According to Sofascore, the 39-cap Portuguese has scored six goals from 31 starts this season, averaging two shots and 0.9 key passes, completing 84% of his passes, and making 2.3 tackles and clearances per match.
He is the “leader” that Klopp seeks, as described by the BBC’s Simon Stone, and with Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson now 32 years old and starting only 21 of his 32 Premier League games this season, a replacement may be required.
However, Neves‘ potential arrival on Merseyside could spell disaster for prodigious rising star Stefan Bajcetic, at least in the short term.
The 18-year-old Spaniard had a dazzling breakout season with the Reds, glistening like a diamond among rubble while his team was embroiled in dire straits, but for an untimely injury in March that ruled him out for the rest of the season.
Bajcetic, who has played 19 times for the senior side and scored one goal, occupies a similar position to Neves and thrives with an all-encompassing sheen to his deep-lying role, ranking among the top 22% of midfielders for rate of goals, the top 25% for successful take-ons, and the top 25% for successful tackles.
Any midfield additions could impede Bajcetic’s progress next season, but if managed properly, the young gem could still find plenty of opportunities to impress and possibly even absorb the fruits of Neves’ labor, should he indeed switch gold for red next season.