Why Manchester United must go all guns blazing for Ruben Neves
The Portuguese midfielder was a revelation in the Championship last season and picked up the division’s Player of the Year award, after helping guide Wolves back to the top flight. And he has started the Premier League season in rich vein, scoring twice and supplying an assist in 11 games.
Manchester United shouldn’t think twice in getting a January deal done for Neves. The Red Devils have made a slow start in the Premier League and currently find themselves outside of top four places.
After getting beaten by the likes of Brighton, Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham, it all looked over for Jose Mourinho but credit to the Portuguese tactician for turning around the club’s fortunes in recent weeks.
Mourinho’s United are now unbeaten in four Premier League games, winning three and drawing one.
The latest victory came at Bournemouth as United came from a goal down to win 2-1 on Saturday. Regardless of the win, United’s defence looked vulnerable time and again and the midfield lacked composure and energy.
Even after the big-money capture of Fred from Shakhtar Donetsk this summer, United’s midfield has looked devoid of ideas at times. True, Fred has made a slow start to his career with the Red Devils, but there are deeper issues in Mourinho’s midfield.
Most of those issues stem from Nemanja Matic, who has looked well off the pace and sloppy in possession. Matic excels in exuding calmness and bringing stability in midfield but the Serb has put in a series of underwhelming performances which actually begs for a question- Why Mourinho is not dropping the former Chelsea midfielder from his starting XI?
Truth to be told, United have an array of midfielders but none with the calm demeanour and ball-winning skills of Matic. But Matic’s immobility and poor decision-making skills were ruthlessly exposed against Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium. Given that the Serbian international has entered his 30s, it’s best for Mourinho to bring in a replacement in January.
Ruben Neves fits the bill perfectly for United. Neves is a classy operator of the ball, notably possesses an impressive and varied range of passing skills.
A deep-lying playmaker, he is a fantastic distributor of the ball from the middle of the park, excels in intercepting opposition’s advances and also has a knack for striking from distance. Furthermore, the 21-year-old Portuguese is also deadly from set-pieces.
With Neves, Paul Pogba and Fred, United’s midfield would give a dynamic look which would also facilitate a quick interchange of play from transitions. In all case, a masterful ball player like Neves would represent a serious coup for Mourinho.
Therefore, United must go all guns blazing to land Neves in January.