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One to watch: Wolves’ 21-year-old midfielder Ruben Neves

Ruben Neves
Photo: Getty Images

One to Watch

One to watch: Wolves’ 21-year-old midfielder Ruben Neves

Introducing The Boot Room’s 2018/19 One to Watch series…

The signing of Rúben Neves was a stunning coup for Wolves.

A product of Porto’s academy, Neves made his league debut for the Portuguese club aged just 17. A week later, he also featured in a Champions League game and a season later became the youngest player to captain a team in the competition, aged 18.

Evidently, his credentials seemed a level above a Championship side. However, the power Jorge Mendes made the dream a reality for Wolves, and Neves went on to propel them to the top of the Championship and Premier League promotion.

Style of Play

Neves is a player that has played in the Champions League and he is a Champions League level player.

The 21-year-old is responsible and reliable. Very importantly, he is positionally aware in his role of screening the defence although at times he can be rash in the way he approaches tackles.

It reflects how tireless he is as a player and is something that Wolves fans warmed to instantly upon his arrival at the Molineux.

His most glaringly excellent attribute is his long passing, as the Portuguese midfielder has proven himself capable of launching cross-field passes with routine accuracy.

 

Additionally, his long-range shooting has caught the eye of fans.

Last season, Neves scored six league goals; all of which came from outside of the penalty area.

That included a screamer he scored in April against Derby County, an off-balance volley that Neves smashed into the top corner from 35 yards.

Season Ahead

Neves will undoubtedly be viewing this season as a chance to put himself in the shop window for Europe’s elite sides after some links to Liverpool already started to emerge this off-season.

His game should adapt to Premier League level, while his manager Nuno Espírito Santo believes the 21-year-old can get even better.

“He can improve a lot,” Nuno told reporters in the aftermath of Neves’ strike against Derby.

“Ruben is not the same player he was when he came here. He’s better now and I expect him to be a lot better in the future.”

Neves is a player with the potential to take the Premier League by storm.

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