Why Rúben Neves Would Make Sense, As Only Part of a Solution
A Viable and Gettable Midfield Component?
Liverpool's midfield is a shambles. Injuries, old age, and some superb players aged 18-21 (Stefan Bajcetic, Harvey Elliott, Fabio Carvalho, Curtis Jones), but who are going through difficult growing/developmental periods in a struggling team, or their own injury hell.
(Bajcetic isn't struggling, but is still raw – and the closest thing I've seen to an 18-year-old Steven Gerrard. He's a thoroughbred, without doubt, but will need patience. I think he should have started at Brighton, but had just joined the injury list.)
It could be that Jude Bellingham, who won't be easy to sign, takes up most of the budget.
But if Liverpool want to split the money up, or find external investment to go further, it could mean two or three £50m-or-so signings.
Rúben Neves, linked with the Reds (but then again, who isn't?) wouldn't have been my first choice, but actually, delving into the data, he's a different player to the one I imagined – with far better defensive metrics than I would have thought, as I tend to notice his passing and thunderbolt goals.
And as I'll show, he would fit the bill in many ways, that perhaps – along with his contract situation – makes him a credible transfer target for this January.
Because, when the forwards are fit again, and Virgil van Dijk is back, Liverpool could be a totally revitalised team with a revitalised midfield.
The midfield is where it's all falling apart, mostly on the defensive side of things (but from some players, the passing side, too), allied to the lack of pressing further forward, due to injuries, constant lineup chances due to those injuries, and new players getting to know each other and the system.
A look at Neves, and comparing him to what Liverpool have (and what Liverpool's numbers show is lacking), suggests that he ticks a lot of boxes; some of them surprisingly so. And there are lots of connections to Liverpool between Wolves and Neves that make any interest credible, whether or not a deal gets done.
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