Football News

Liverpool assistant manager hints at Ruben Neves “interest”

By CJ Smith

Published: 16:34, 9 April 2019 | Updated: 11:28, 28 October 2020

Liverpool assistant manager Pep Lijnders has hinted at the club’s possible ‘interest’ in Wolverhampton Wanderers star Ruben Neves.

Neves has been key in Wolves’ strong first season back in the Premier League, playing more passes into the final third (275) and taking more shots from outside the box (61) than any other player at the club so far.

Could Neves make Anfield move? Five key things to know…

  1. Neves has scored four goals and provided two assists in all competitions for Wolves this term.
  2. The Portugal international scored six goals in 42 Championship games last season.
  3. Liverpool assistant Lijnders worked with Neves during their time together at Porto.
  4. And he claims Neves is the kind of player that ‘always interests’ Liverpool.
  5. Only Joao Moutinho (1,286) has completed more passes in the league than Neves (1,276) for Wolves this season.

Despite an incredible season where they are pushing Man City all the way in the Premier League and have reached the Champions League quarter-finals, a lack of midfield creativity is a criticism often levelled at Liverpool.

And Lijnders, who worked with with Neves during their time together at Porto, has hinted he is the kind of player that ‘always interests’ Liverpool.

He told O Jogo, as reported by Goal, of Neves: “I know him very well, his ambition, his passion for the game, his professionalism.

“I know what he gives to the team and this type of player always interests us.

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“I recognised him when I saw him at Wolves. I saw technique, professionalism; I saw the 2013/14 player I knew.”

Liverpool face Neves’ former side, Porto, in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final clash on Tuesday.

Neves outshone by Moutinho, according to Thompson

Despite the fanfare surrounding the Portugal international, ex-Red and Sky Sports pundit, Phil Thompson, doesn’t believe Neves has had the best of seasons for Wolves.

In fact, he believes Neves’ veteran compatriot Joao Moutinho has outshone him in the midfield, hailing the former Monaco man as ‘fantastic’.

He said: “You bring in Moutinho, who I know he’s about 30, but what a player. Everyone goes on about Neves, but I don’t think he’s had a great season. But Moutinho is fantastic.”