Manchester City eyeing a move for Portugal midfield supremo: The ideal number 6

According to The Sun (Via TalkSPORT), Manchester City are poised to launch a January bid for Ruben Neves. The Wolves star has been pretty impressive in the early stages of the Premier League with some excellent performances, attracting the interest of the defending champions in the process.

It is believed that Pep Guardiola is ready to bid £60 million for Neves, who has been identified as an ideal long-term replacement for ageing stars like David Silva and Fernandinho.

What will Ruben Neves bring to the table?

Known for his attacking qualities in the final third, Neves is generally identified as a central midfielder, who predominantly operates as a number 8.

His skillset help him control the game well, but, it’s his vision and ability to work under pressure that make him such a sought-after talent in European football. He is also very good when it comes to carrying the ball as he can effortlessly surge forward with the ball even in the tightest of spaces. In addition, the Portuguese midfielder excels in set-pieces, which was evident against Everton on matchday one of the Premier League.

Last season, the 21-year-old also averaged an impressive 2.1 shots per game from outside the box, reflecting his tendency to try out his luck from distance. He is quite good at reading the game too, having averaged 1.7 interceptions per game during the same season.

How will he fit in under Guardiola?

Although Guardiola is adamant that Neves can be the long-term successor to holding midfielder Fernandinho, it’s clearly evident that his general attributes are tailor-made for the number 8 position.

That being said, the former Porto superstar has exquisite ball-playing qualities – something that must have appealed to the former Barcelona manager. He is adept at both short and long range passing, making him an ideal fit for Manchester City’s number 6 position.

Even though Fernandinho has enjoyed good success under Guardiola, it’s only fair to acknowledge the fact that the Brazilian’s lack of technical prowess often limits Manchester City’s build-up, especially against top opponents.

Neves, in that regard, could widen the horizon of the Sky department thanks to his immense technical qualities coupled with the efficient ball-distribution.

It remains to be seen whether Wolves will be willing to let go of their prized asset to their Premier League rivals knowing that the move could significantly weaken the overall dynamics of the team.

Stat courtesy: Whoscored

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