Liverpool added two fantastic central midfielders to their ranks this summer in Fabinho and the sensational Naby Keita, but there is a new kid on the block who should be firmly on their radar, namely Wolverhampton Wanders ace Ruben Neves.
Wolves’ dominance in the Championship last season was propped up by the imperious performances of Neves who joined the club from FC Porto in a eyebrow raising deal worth £16 million.
Swapping Champions League football for England’s second-tier is certainly not a career move which footballers are prone to, but with Jorge Mendes spearheading a revolution at Molineux the immensely promising Portuguese talent took a punt which paid off.
Indeed, Wolves comfortably secured promotion by topping the Championship table and a summer spending spree has helped them to make a promising opening to the Premier League season.
Meanwhile, Liverpool have made a domineering start with 4 victories from their opening 4 fixtures and they sit at the top of the perch as a result.
Interestingly, their captain Jordan Henderson has only started 1 of the opening matches due to the brilliant form of James Milner, Naby Keita and even Georginio Wijnaldum who has been vastly improved so far this season.
It’s far too early to write Henderson off on the basis of just 4 fixtures but, with Fabinho still to come in and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s eventual return to consider, Liverpool’s captain may eventually need to leave Anfield in search of regular first-team football.
And based on Henderson’s obvious limitations to marshal a title-winning midfield unit, Liverpool should consider signing Neves to upgrade their options in midfield.
Although Henderson is undoubtedly a decent player at this level, he is certainly not at the standard which Liverpool require if they want to go toe-to-toe with Manchester City for the Premier League title on a consistent basis.
Whilst it’s too early to jump to conclusions about Neves’s ability to blossom into a top-four standard midfielder, the early signs suggest he possesses all of the attributes to become one of the Premier League’s most effective lynchpins.
On paper Neves has everything Liverpool could wish for in a Henderson replacement: composed in possession, technically brilliant, can pass with both feet, strong in the tackle, physically strong and capable of a Gerrard-esque thunderbolt from outside the penalty-area.
Liverpool’s summer acquisitions have almost put the finishing touches on a frightening selection of central midfielders for Klopp to chose from, but upgrading Henderson with Neves would undoubtedly take Liverpool to the next level.
He may only have cost Wolves £16 million last summer but if he continues to improve at an exponential rate there is no doubt the Midlands outfit will be in a strong position to command a huge transfer fee and pocket a healthy profit for their crown jewel.
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