Wolves are reportedly eyeing up a move for Samu Costa in the summer transfer window.
The Lowdown: Neves may leave
As per the Daily Express, Arsenal are reportedly considering using Ainsley Maitland-Niles as a makeweight in a deal to try and sign Ruben Neves.
If the Portugal international does end up leaving the Midlands club, then they will have to try and find a suitable replacement, and Costa seems to fit into a similar mould.
The Latest: Wolves eye Costa
According to Record (via Sport Witness), the Molineux faithful are reportedly eyeing a move to try and sign Costa, and there is a belief that they would be willing to pay the €25m (£21.4m) required fee in order to secure his services.
However, there is no indication that they are definitely going to pay that sum just yet, and that could well hinge on whether Neves ends up staying or going to the Emirates Stadium.
The Verdict: Costa not adequate Neves replacement
While Costa is a very good and promising player in his own right, having represented the Portuguese national team at youth level, and helped Almeria reach the La Liga 2 play-offs while on loan from Braga, he would not be an adequate replacement for Neves.
Should Wolves sign Costa?
Neves has been a key player for the Wanderers over the past few seasons, from being part of the squad which won promotion up to the Premier League back in 2018 and then being a mainstay in the team ever since.
He averaged more tackles (2.4), interceptions (1.8), shots (1.9), passes (54.9) and long balls (5.3) a game in the top flight than both Leander Dendoncker and Joao Moutinho in the 2020/21 term (WhoScored), further showing his importance.
Costa also showed his ability to win the ball back in La Liga 2, winning no fewer than 8.1 of his duels per match, while also averaging 2.1 clearances, 1.5 interceptions and 1.4 tackles per appearance, but perhaps lacks that extra bit of passing quality that Neves possesses, having averaged a mere 0.4 key passes a game (Sofascore).
If WWFC were looking to sign Costa, then they should do so knowing that Neves will stay as well and thus strengthen the competition in the central midfield position, rather than replacing him with the 20-year-old.
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