Arsenal are reportedly closing in on Wolves’ midfielder Ruben Neves.
The 24-year-old has been on Arsenal’s summer transfer list alongside Sassuolo’s Manuel Locatelli and Brighton’s Yves Bissouma.
With Locatelli’s preference being Juventus, and the Gunners’ search for a ‘different type’ of player than Bissouma, Neves has come to the fore as their main midfield target.
According to journalist Nicolò Schira, the North London outfit have already offered a five-year contract to the Portuguese international.
— Nicolò Schira (@NicoSchira) July 8, 2021
Although talks are progressing, the deal is not at an advanced stage with personal terms and the final fee yet to be negotiated and agreed.
Neves has made 176 appearances for Wolverhampton Wanderers scoring an impressive 20 goals and recording a further 10 assists. The fact that he plays as a defensive midfielder makes those numbers even more admirable.
I like Ruben Neves, a lot. Think he adds a lot of what we're losing and things we've been lacking from the role:
– Better progression
– Directness of passing
– Technical ability
– Tackling strength
The mistake you may see is that he's "another Xhaka." Don't fall for it. pic.twitter.com/9K5dT6vO39
— The Gooner Talk (@TheGoonerTalkTv) July 8, 2021
The 24-year-old has also made 22 appearances for the Portugal national team, since making his debut in 2015 as an 18-year-old.
With the acquisition of the former Porto captain, Arsenal can add a leadership head and a player who has a good reputation in the free-kicks department. The Gunners faithful can expect some bangers from outside the box too, because of his sweet right boot.
🗓 On this day in 2017, Ruben Neves signed for #Wolves!
— Talking Wolves (@TalkingWolves) July 8, 2021
There has been a lot of negativity revolving around the Neves’ transfer links. In my opinion, he is not as bad a player as people are making it out to be. The Portuguese covers a lot of ground, has a good passing range and is more defensively astute than Granit Xhaka as well as Yves Bissouma, for which there has been a lot of clamour.
You can read more about the Bissouma-Neves tactical comparison here.
Although 40 million looks a tad more expensive, I won’t have any problems if Arsenal go for Neves instead of Bissouma, even though I like the Mali international more.
It is a well-known fact that Bissouma is a ‘dribbler-type’ midfielder unlike Xhaka and Neves. But his out of possession numbers, his medium and long-range passing is not better than Neves.
Technical director Edu certainly has to weigh what we can and cannot get with both the players. And I’ll say it again: although I want Arsenal to go for Bissouma, I won’t have any problems if we sign Neves.