Inter Milan have enjoyed a solid start to the 2019-20 Serie A season, and they sit near the top of the standings. However, their UEFA Champions League campaign hasn’t gone as planned and they are winless after their first two matches. That’s not what the manager was envisioning when he assembled a team with stars such as Diego Godin, Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez all arriving in the summer.
One of the main problems for Inter this season has been their creativity in midfield. Even though Stefano Sensi has been playing at a stellar level, the rest of the midfielders have performed below the required expectations. Marcelo Brozovic and Matias Vecino in particular have been singled out because of their play in recent weeks. Therefore, Inter would be wise to search for an upgrade during the upcoming January transfer window.
That upgrade has a name, though. He goes by the name of Ruben Neves.
The Portugal international enjoyed a breakout season in 2018-19 playing for Wolverhampton, where he settled as one of the best holding midfielders in the English Premier League. But Neves has picked things up right where he left them off last term. He is once again one of the best players for Wolverhampton, but he is now doing it a tougher level, on a side with more expectations that’s currently playing in the UEFA Europa League.
Neves: an expensive signing that’s worth the risk
Signing Neves might be expensive since the Wolves are not keen to let him go, especially midway through the season. But this is the kind of move that can cause an impact both in the short-term and long-term scenarios. Neves is good enough to start right now for Inter, but he should be able to become a cornerstone of the team going forward. At the very least, he already represents an upgrade over the likes of Vecino and Brozovic.
Another important thing regarding Neves is his versatility. He can operate as a central midfielder, but he can also be the link between the defence and the more attacking-minded player as a lone defensive midfielder. That’s the role he fulfills at Wolverhampton, and one where he excels at. Pairing Neves with Sensi would give Inter two insanely creative central midfielders to control the tempo effectively.
But signing good, young players is not cheap. The Wolves were reportedly asking for £100million to part ways with Neves earlier this year. That figure might drop a bit now, but Inter would still need to spend at least £75m or £80m to complete the switch. It’s unclear whether they can afford to spend that money after their summer splash.
Neves, however, is worth the risk. He has enough potential to become a reliable presence in Inter’s midfield for both the present and the future of the club.
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