Manchester United go up against Wolves tonight and face an opponent who has all the attributes to be a Red Devils player.

Wolves midfielder Ruben Neves is in his third season in the Premier League and has become one of the most under rated midfielders in the country.

United know all about Neves’ qualities, having found out the hard way at Molineux last season. Neves scored a tremendous long range strike to cancel out United’s lead and earn a point.

Neves has yet to net in the league this season, playing a restricted midfield role, his combative qualities are coming to the fore. He is averaging 1.9 tackles per game and 1.5 interceptions, while also averaging 1 chance created per match.

Wolverhampton Wanderers v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League
(Photo by Sam Bagnall – AMA/Getty Images)

The central midfielder was impressive in Wolves’ recent draw with Tottenham, managing one shot on target, five tackles and five interceptions, while touching the ball more times on the pitch than any other player (89).

Assuming he starts, which is no guarantee given the quick fixture turnaround, Neves will present United with a typically tough test in central midfield.

A player United should be targeting

At just 23, Neves has the potential to get even better, and is the type of player United should be targeting as a replacement for Paul Pogba if he leaves in the summer transfer window.

 

Neves is tried and tested in the Premier League, has quality in and out of possession, and could benefit from a new challenge, now in his fourth season at Wolves.

A year ago a move for Neves looked near impossible, with Wolves building impressively and the midfielder a key part. Wolves are still a top side, but their progress has plateaued a little, and Neves is experiencing a season without any European football. If United can offer the chance to play in the Champions League next season, it could prove tempting.

The interesting factor surrounding a future move is Wolves showed this summer they are willing to flipping their investments in their young talents for a tidy profit, selling Diogo Jota to Liverpool.

Wolverhampton Wanderers v Southampton - Premier League
(Photo by Matthew Ashton – AMA/Getty Images)

Neves arrived at Wolves in the same season as Jota, and they may also be prepared to cash in at the right price, which could be in the £50 – 60 million range.

In terms of contract, Neves’ current deal runs until 2023, just one year longer than Paul Pogba’s deal. This coming summer could be a smart time for Wolves to cash in.

They are unlikely to actively be pursuing a sale, but if United make a tempting offer, it could stand a chance of being successful. Neves is a player worth pushing the boat out and paying a little extra for.

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