At the beginning of the summer it looked as though Ruben Neves was a certainty to follow Nuno Santo through the exit door and leave Wolves.
However, current boss Bruno Lage will be thanking his lucky stars that he’s been able to keep the Portuguese ace at Molineux.
Neves initially appeared expendable with a variety of teams interested and Wolves keen to make money on the central midfielder.
Bruno Lage admitted last week that every player has his price but after Wolves’ 1-0 defeat to Tottenham, he will be doing everything in his power to keep in the Midlands.
Neves didn’t find the net with a long-range thunderbolt that we’ve become accustomed to seeing throughout the years but this was still a virtuoso performance.
Against Champions League regulars Spurs, the 24-year-old was simply outstanding in the middle of the park, glueing things together with an admirable work rate. Going forward he was a constant threat with his vision and when the visitors countered, he was often there to break it up.
It was a display worthy of interest from the Premier League’s elite and this should increase speculation surrounding his future.
Combative in the middle of the park, Neves won a whopping six tackles and was only dribbled past on one occasion. Considering that Nuno wanted his Spurs team to play on the counterattack, this was especially eye-catching.
Neves found himself in a vacant pocket before threading an inch-perfect ball into Traore who stuck his shot straight at Hugo Lloris.
Their Spanish roadrunner was a constant thorn in the heart of the Spurs backline and did everything but score as the Old Gold somehow spurned 25 attempts at goal.
What specifically caught the eye was the range of passing in Neves’ locker. The Portugal international was successful with 16 of his 19 long balls, ultimately completing 81% of his passes in general.
This was a display that will have Lage delighted. If Wolves can finally start tucking away those balls from Neves then they will become a force to be reckoned with again.