Newcastle United eyeing Ruben Neves this summer
Newcastle United are reportedly eyeing up a potential move for Wolves central midfielder Ruben Neves in the summer.
The Lowdown: Familiar face…
Neves has played Newcastle nine times in his career so far, winning two of them, drawing six and losing just once, which came in Wolves’ 2-1 loss at St. James’ Park last weekend.
Despite the defeat, Neves was a standout performer on the pitch, as he managed a 100% dribble and long ball success, while no other player could match his impressive 97% pass accuracy (SofaScore).
He also scored in the 1-1 draw at Molineux earlier on in the season, and has proved to be a formidable foe for the North East club while he has been playing in the Premier League.
The Latest: Newcastle interest
Co-writing in his latest piece for 90min, transfer expert Graeme Bailey says that the Tynesiders are just one of a number of clubs in the Premier League who have ‘asked to be kept informed’ of Neves’ situation at Wolves, along with both Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur.
Both FC Barcelona and Atletico Madrid are also thought to be ‘watching’ him, but the Wanderers are set to offer him a new long-term contract, with only 16 months left on his current deal.
However, Neves’ agent Jorge Mendes has made it clear to a number of suitors that his client is prepared to leave Molineux in the summer, regardless of any potential offer on the table.
The Verdict: No-brainer
It is a no-brainer for the Magpies to sign a player of Neves’ quality in the summer, should he become available.
His Wolves team-mate Hugo Bueno holds him in high regard, hailing him as an ‘incredible player‘ and praising his shooting ability in particular:
“He does those things every day in training, so I wasn’t surprised. I have seen him do that loads of times.
“He has incredible shooting. I am really happy for him for the goal, and for the team because it was a really important goal for us.
“He always runs the whole pitch and he’s always there. I don’t know how he does it. He is a key player for us. He works very, very hard to win the ball back and also when we have the ball he can control in the game.
“He is an incredible player and hopefully he can give us more things like this in the future.”
Indeed, Neves ranks in the 89th percentile for total shots per game of all midfielders in Europe’s top five leagues over the past year, as well as in the top 25% for a number of other key metrics (FBRef).
Nonetheless, given his top-flight experience, the Portugal international would be a shrewd buy this summer.