Barcelona could replace Busquets with Premier League pass-master – A wise move by Xavi?

Wolves midfielder Ruben Neves is reportedly on the radar of Barcelona, as Xavi Hernandez aims to continue rebuilding his squad.

The Blaugrana’s summer transfer priority is Borussia Dortmund star Erling Haaland, who is one of the most sought after players in the transfer market. Besides Haaland being a priority, the La Liga club are also keeping tabs on other positions in the squad needing to be reinforced.

According to La Porteria (h/t Mundo Deportivo), Barcelona have set their sights on Wolves’ Ruben Neves as a long-term successor for Sergio Busquets. Jorge Mendes, the Portuguese international’s agent, shares a good relationship with Barcelona president Joan Laporta, which could ease the negotiations during a possible transfer, the report adds.

Neves, 25, has been a consistent performer for Wolves over the last few years, establishing himself as one of Premier League’s top midfielders. The central midfielder has stood out as one of the Wanderers’ most influential players this season, contributing four goals and two assists in 30 games to date.

The Portuguese schemer’s performances in the Premier League has made him an in-demand commodity heading into the summer transfer window, with Barcelona understood to be one of his admirers.

Ruben Neves to Barcelona – A wise move?

Sergio Busquets has been an anchor in the Barcelona midfield for over a decade now, dishing out consistent performances season after season. The Spanish international has been one of the first names on Xavi Hernandez’s team sheet, showing his composure, class and leadership skills once again for the Catalan club.

While he is still going strong at the age of 33, Busquets is at the stage of his career where his playing time needs to be managed well in order to avoid burnout. With no proper cover for him, Xavi has to constantly rely on the ageing Spaniard to hold things in midfield. However, it looks like the Blaugrana have identified Wolves star Ruben Neves as a potential replacement for Busquets.

First things first, Neves is a different profile of player to that of Busquets but his nature of operation in the Wolves side is almost similar to the Barcelona maestro. At Wolves, he often operates as a deep-lying playmaker in a double-pivot with Joao Moutinho, allowing his compatriot to go forward and join the attacks.

Neves is a classy distributor of the ball, both short and long, tenacious tackler and dogged performer in the middle of the park. With his passing skills and reading of the game, he can dictate the tempo of the game. Add his set-piece proficiency and long-range shooting to his repertoire of skills, the Portuguese international falls in the category of a complete central midfielder.

In a Barcelona side filled with a mix of talented and seasoned campaigners of skilled technicians, Neves would be a brilliant fit. With time, experience and the right coaching, he could grow into the role of Busquets and eventually replace him.

Truly, the Wolves star looks ready to take the next big step in his career in the summer and a move to Barcelona could be ideal.

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