Wolverhampton Wanderers supporters would be hurt to see ex-midfielder Ruben Neves sign for another Premier League club aside from the Molineux outfit.
The Al Hilal star had been linked with a move to a top-flight outfit heading into January 2024.
An ex-Wolves midfielder may feel like he has “unfinished business” at the club heading into the winter transfer window, with Gary O’Neil’s side also potentially reigniting their interest in a Championship striker.
Wolverhampton Wanderers fans will be hurt if ex-captain Ruben Neves moves to another Premier League club, as Sunday People chief sports writer Neil Moxley considers the midfielder’s ability level.
Wolves sold their star man after six years at Molineux during the summer transfer window of 2023, having wanted to cash in on his services before his contract expired 12 months later.
Gary O’Neil and Fosun have utilised the money generated by Neves’ sale to bolster their ranks and boost their chances of Premier League survival this season. Wolves return to action on 27th November, following the season’s third international break, when they travel to Craven Cottage to take on Fulham.
Wolves did not anticipate that when they spent around £15m, then a club-record fee, on FC Porto midfielder Ruben Neves in July 2017, they would be signing a player who would go down in the history books at Molineux. Wanderers were coming off the back of a 15th-place finish in the Championship, having flirted with relegation to League One during the 2016/17 campaign.
Paul Lambert guided the club to safety before being sacked and replaced by Nuno Espirito Santo in May 2017. The former Valencia head coach, along with the help of some intelligent signings courtesy of agent and friend Jorge Mendes, guided Wolves to the Premier League as Championship winners, with Neves winning the club’s Player of the Season and Goal of the Season award.
Neves, alongside new signing and Portugal teammate Joao Moutinho, took the Premier League by storm, achieving two consecutive seventh-placed finishes, with appearances in an FA Cup semi-final and Europa League quarter-final. Despite two modest campaigns during the 2020/21 and 2021/22 seasons, the 26-year-old established himself as one of the club’s leading players, often producing when others failed.
Following Conor Coady’s loan departure to Everton during the summer of 2022, Neves was named Wolves captain for the season and was instrumental in the club staving off relegation following the appointment of Julen Lopetegui following Bruno Lage’s sacking in October 2022. However, with just one year left on his contract, the Black Country outfit were forced to sell their skipper in a deal worth £47m to Saudi Pro League outfit Al Hilal in June.