Football News

Ruben Neves: Wolves playmaker inheriting Pedro Mendes’ Premier League mantle?

By Mohamed Moallim

Published: 18:25, 13 November 2019

Wolverhampton Wanderers stunned the footballing community when they signed Ruben Neves from FC Porto back in July 2017.

Though it came as a shock, given Neves was being linked with numerous Champions League clubs, it shouldn’t have when you consider his agent Jorge Mendes was close with the powers that be at Molineux.

Since relocating, Neves has been central to Wolves’ recent transformation from Championship outfit to Europa League contenders. Nominally a deep-lying midfielder, he dictates their play, and being surrounded by like-minded individuals makes that job a little bit easier.

Goalscoring is not part of his repertoire but, saying that, he’s very much capable of contributing. To date, the Portugal international has bagged 14 goals across 102 appearances in all competitions.

No fewer than six of those have come in the Premier League, with two struck this season, a small return but it’s worth pointing out more than half (four) have come from outside the penalty area.

This quirk places him in an esteemed company of players to register more than half of their Premier League strikes from outside the box. Leading the way is compatriot Pedro Mendes, who famously played a pivotal role in Portsmouth staying up in 2005/06, though his 100% effort (all six goals) will be tough to beat for any player now.

That being said, Neves given his burgeoning reputation, can still climb up the table with his 67% score currently matching the likes of David Ginola and Phil Neville. If his next goal is a long-range effort, he will draw level with Kyle Walker and Adel Taarabt on 71%.

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