This defensive midfielder is PERFECT for Arsenal – Get him Wenger!

The Rise of Ruben Neves has been rather extreme. by JH

A 17 year old kid, called upon to start for Porto, in their season opener last season. Ruben Neves produced both the opening goal and a much unexpected man of the match performance. In the year that has gone by, Ruben Neves has gone from the surprise inclusion in a Porto squad, to a potentiel star, scouted by the worlds best.

Playing deep in the heart of the Porto midfield, Neves controls the pace of the game with an almost Pirloesque ease, very rarely taking more than a touch before the ball is moved on to a teammate.

With opposition players in close proximity, he seems to twist and turn effortlessly away from them before finding a teammate, at such a young age his composure is quite astounding, his passes are sharp and accurate, equally comfortable with his right and his left foot. He is yet to look uncomfortable with the ball.

However it is not just his talent on the ball that has garnered the attention of the biggest clubs in Europe, he is just as good off the ball. Playing the deep midfield role since the age of 8, Neves has developed tactically far quicker than most, very rarely caught out of position, aggressive in his attempts to win back possession, he also has fantastic intelligence for his age and is able to read play very well which his Porto B manager sees as his best attribute. Then we have his leadership, aged just 18, Ruben Neves was made captain at Porto, the youngest in their history. But perhaps the biggest testament to his ability is that back in Portugal, not much was really made of it, there was no great shock, no outrage. The youngest player in Porto’s XI had just been made captain, and it all just seemed natural. Neves performed with his usual fantastic consistency, seemingly unaware of the pressure that the armband should bring, he took it in his stride and continued on with his job.

Despite being roughly a decade younger than most of his Porto teammates, Neves has no issues with barking orders at them, pushing and pulling them into the correct spaces, and generally organising nine outfield players that are vastly more experienced than he is. Perhaps the only thing more impressive than this, is his teammates response, they are happy to take his commands, they listen to what he has to say, and follow his lead.

At 5’11 his lack of height will put fans off, most of us want a 7ft tall 300lbs CDM, but lets be realistic. And let us not forget, many of us are perfectly happy for Coquelin to be our starting CDM, he is just 5’10.

A second downside to Neves is the only weakness in his game people are able to spot, Man Marking, positionally he is superb, we will rule his space on the field with consummate ease, but if he was asked to do a man marking job, such as Coquelin vs Silva, he struggles, however, I think you can count the amount of times we have deployed man marking in the last couple of years on one hand, and also, he is 18, and still has so much improving to do, perhaps Coquelin and Neves would be the way to go.

I believe Neves would be a very attractive proposition for AW. As we know he likes young technical players, maturity beyond their years, he almost seems the Ideal candidate to replace Santi Cazorla when that time comes.

The main stumbling block in this deal however is Porto, there is simply no way that they will sell for any less than his £29 million release clause, rumours claim that Arsenal are already preparing a £22million offer, £7million more and he could be ours, depending of course on the players decision.

However one thing that will point away from this, Jack Wilshere is soon returning to fitness, and that deep role is his best, AW wants Ramsey in the side but he is not disciplined enough to play there, Santi Cazorla is Wenger’s dream, tiny, technical. Arsenal also have very high hopes for Zelalem, Adelaide, Crowley, Bielik who will all occupy the central positions. However one would hope that AW would realise the importance of having a better CDM than Mathieu Flamini. Wenger doesn’t see Wilshere as a deep midfielder, Ramsey is not able to play there due to his evident desire to be a striker. Cazorla is weak, and now is starting to lose the legs to play there, Coquelin is injured, Bielik is too young yet, Arteta and Flamini are not good enough. A signing must be made.

Neves would be my choice, I would not complain if we signed a Bender or a Carvalho. But I see Neves as the more Natural AW choice.

What do you guys think? Do you think Neves would be AWs pick? Would you trust a 18 year old at the centre of our midfield?

By JonnHirons

Tags Coquelin Neves Porto


  1. that’s the difference between Julen Lopetegui and Wenger….. Ruben Neves (17) have already become an established DM for Fc porto and is Looking wanted all over Europe {not saying i rate him highly, tho he’s good.. He’s still very young to be able to read his future } and for how much £££ does he go???…… But on the other side of Europe is krystian bielik (17yrs) whom alot of ppl say is raw & isn’t ready….. And how would we be so sure bout that?…. Is he even given the chance to play?… we are in a DM crisis and everyone thinks Ruben Neves (not bender, not krychowiak, not kondogbia, not wayama, not even carvalho) is the answer….



    1. So what are you trying to prove ? Bielik is already stated to have world class potential, and playing for Porto isn’t a big feat when the league there is a one horse race. What we need is an experience DM older than Coquelin, not a young one.

  2. I’d prefer a more experienced DM like XHAKA he’s left footed,has a good passing range and would fit in nicely into our style of play

  3. I mentioned this on another article that Portuguese clubs are tough to negotiate with..Guess who is Neves’s agent?? Jorge Mendes..Yes the same Mendes who is also the agent of that snake Mourinho..No way will this transfer go through as long as Mourinho is in EPL..maybe that explains why we could not get Carvalho..I say we look into other players and not waste our time on Neves.

  4. Did the fact that maybe a certain player don’t want to join Arsenal crossed your mind? Or the fact that the team does not want to sell? Here we go again and again with the old mantra that transfer will solve injuries which is pathetic at best.
    There is no one thing that is suddenly going to end Arsenal’s injury nightmares. They will happen forever and ever and Arsenal will not win the EPL because of those injures.
    And you know why I say this without KNOWING A SINGLE FACT? Because it is …. easier to predict doom than success. Anyone does, I can do it as well. Predict doom is like saying “water is wet”. You don’t need much brain or knowledge to do that.
    Yes! I am …. frustrated (just like every one of you) about our injuries. I absolutely loathe it, I am so depressed when I come home and see the board on my door depicting Arsenal tube station and think about the squad. And also what frustrates me is the lack of knowledge, real facts what happen within the squad. But that’s not only Arsenal, every top team is defending itself with this wall of silence. We just happen to be Arsenal supporters and in the absence of knowledge or news we just SPECULATE. That’s it. But no one from us can say for sure one thing unless they are having intimate connections with the club.
    So, if any of you want to take the easy route and speculate that we will fail miserably with these injuries, by all means do it, it is your right. Speculate otherwise, that we will overcome these injuries is the bold move, that’s the path I will take myself and again, it is my right to do it.

    1. “I’ve always been fond of Arsenal” -Carvalho – SIGNING A PLAYER CAN’T GET ANY EASIER THAN THAT

  5. The nonsensical regime at Arsenal, headed by Arsene Wenger, has turned our once great club into a laughing stock! He has overused and overplayed our thin squad- as he usually does every season — with the very few quality players doing his dirty work because he does not want to spend money on having quality in depth. Remember Mikel Arteta was the only stand-out player among the 8-2 signings of 2011. Here is what I mean by 8-2 signings: After Wenger sold the spine of our team, Fabregas and Nasri, the result was we were hammered 8-2 by Man Utd. Out of desperation, he downloaded so many useless players on transfer deadline day — usually at mid-night — including the likes of Park, Santos, Squillaci and Benayoun (on loan from our rivals), etc. When pundits said that Wenger’s stupidity of not signing a single outfield player during the summer would return to haunt him, he and his stupid mouthpiece called Untold took it as a joke. He’s a clown! You reap what you sow!

    1. @nernlorg Those useless players you mentioned got us top 4 Same as the traitors who thought they were too good for us. Another example of Arsene’s mastery.

      1. No they didn’t, Fabregas, RVP and Nasri carried the team to top 4, everybody else was just a passenger. Really, do you honestly think Chamakh, Bendtner and Squillaci won us top 4 ? You really need to get your eyes checked.

  6. Don’t know why anyone would give you a “thumbs down” for that, his performance yesterday against Man City was excellent, a physical presence, a high level of technical skill and a good ability to read the game.

    where was the article?

  7. Apart from reading one another posts and standings on issues, does our ideas/post/concerns ever get attention of our great clubs’ management. ????

  8. Arsenal need a player who is defensive minded and won’t charge on the opposition’s penalty area. They have lots of players who can twist and turn and don’t need another prodigy or a one for the future. Arsenal need a strong tackler and with a dangerous attitude who can spur up the team which clearly Cazorla can’t do.

  9. Rather have Danilo Pereira if we were going to buy at Porto. Ruben Neves isn’t an out and out DM either, yes he’s talented and I wouldn’t mind him at the club but not as a solution for Coquelin’s injury.

    For me Krychowiak and Xhaka are still the most realistic targets and Carvalho would be interesting depending on the fee.

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