Manchester United created enough chances against Southampton to win the game on Sunday.

But there is always room for improvement, and one area United need to make an upgrade is in defensive midfield.

Nemanja Matic was ineffective and served to highlight a long-held concern among fans that his time should be up.

There are various ways to go before the transfer deadline closes. One is to push to sign Brighton’s excellent midfielder Yves Bissouma.

The other tempting transfer to make is to push for Wolves midfielder Ruben Neves, who United are currently scheduled to face next Sunday.

Wolverhampton Wanderers v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League
(Photo by Jack Thomas – WWFC/Wolves via Getty Images)

Neves has got it all

Neves is a complete midfield player and demonstrated his quality in Wolves’ weekend defeat to Tottenham.

Neves was outstanding, creating five goalscoring chances, more than any player on the pitch.

The five chances created by Neves was also the same figure created by Fred, Paul Pogba, Bruno Fernandes and Nemanja Matic combined against Southampton.

The Portuguese star is the kind of midfield passer United have lacked since Michael Carrick’s retirement.


Neves’ 93 touches was more than any player on the pitch in Wolves’ game, more than any United player had against Southampton.

On the defensive side of the ball Neves made six tackles, the highest of any player on the pitch.

Compare this with Nemanja Matic’s one tackle made and no chances created, and Neves’ six tackles and five chances created is on a different level.

Southampton v Manchester United - Premier League
(Photo by Robin Jones/Getty Images )

Move still viable

A move for Neves is still possible with Wolves refusing to rule out his sale even at this late stage.

Manager Bruno Lage told a press conference last Friday that the midfielder could be sold if right offer comes in.

ESPN reported at the end of July that United have spoken with Neves’ representatives.

As an international teammate of Bruno Fernandes, Neves is a player United will be well aware of.

Next Sunday, Neves can further get onto United’s radar when the two teams face off at Molineux. But by that time there will be only two days left before the transfer window.

United may need to show a little more urgency in the days ahead to try and get a deal moving.

Have something to tell us about this article?