Ruben Neves to Liverpool would be a fantastic transfer for one player already at Anfield. The Reds reportedly want the midfielder.
The Mirror reports that Liverpool are after Ruben Neves and could try to seal a deal this month. Wolves are increasingly open to selling the player, too, and their addition of Joao Gomes appears to pave the way for a transfer.
So what would Liverpool actually get in Neves?
Data on FBref gives us some idea. Neves is one of the Premier League’s most direct passers – he’s in the 95th percentile for the total distance his forward passes cover. He’s 97th percentile for completed ‘medium’ range passes and 98th for long passes.
And above all, no one attempts more long-range passes in the Premier League than Neves. It’s his go-to – he tries to spring attacks from deep as often as he can.
No midfielder in the league has more touches from deep, either. Neves tops the charts both in his defensive third and his own penalty area. That’s something else Liverpool desperately need – a player who wants to receive the ball deep and beat a press. Just go back and watch any of the Brighton game to see how badly the team is after that.
But we think, above all, there’s one player at Liverpool who can thrive with Neves. It might be a match made in heaven.
Ruben Neves at Liverpool
Neves may want to pass the ball long and constantly look for an outball but he needs the right teammates to do that. Fortunately, he’d find them at Liverpool.
Mohamed Salah, for instance, is permanently drifting into space and wanting that pass. But no player would suit Neves more than Darwin Nunez.
The Reds’ potential record signing thrives on running in behind and dominating defenders with his pace and strength. He’s the one Liverpool want to look for when they get their heads up.
And Neves would be a dream come true for Nunez. A player who drops deep, draws opponents up the pitch to press him, and then pings long-range passes over the top.
The pairing could be perfect, with each offering the exact style of play that the other needs. We don’t know exactly what Wolves would want for Neves – certainly more than the £15m they paid – but it would be worth it.