Wolves‘ Portuguese midfield duo Ruben Neves and Joao Moutinho could be heading for the exit door this summer, with the former being heavily linked with a big-money move to the likes of Barcelona after the conclusion of this season.
Moutinho, on the other hand, is at the moment set to play out the final few months of his contract at Molineux, with his £100k per week wages deal coming to an end at the end of the campaign.
The former Monaco star arrived in West Midlands for a bargain £5m fee back in 2018, and has become a fan favourite at the club, making 167 appearances in all competitions so far, scoring five goals and setting up another 23.
This season the midfield maestro, who turns 36 in September, has averaged a 7.08 match rating in the Premier League, the fourth highest out of the entire team, as they continue to fight for European football next season.
Pundit Danny Murphy was in awe of his ability after he starred in a Wolves win against Brentford earlier in the season, saying: “Thirty-five years of age. I think he’s missed five games in three and a half years which is some going. That’s durability for you. He’s such an intelligent footballer.”
To add to the evidence that Moutinho’s career at the top level can continue for at least another season, he ranks in the top 15% among midfielders in Europe’s top five leagues and continental competitions for key passes per 90 (1.42), top 10% for dribblers contested per 90 (3.07) and top 10% for switches per 90 (3.28).
Furthermore, there is also evidence that the 142-cap Portugal legend has still got a good work-rate left in him, ranking in the top 17% for pressures in the defensive third per 90 (7.91) and top 20% for tackles won per 90 (1.86).
With a ready-made replacement in the shape of Luke Cundle coming through the academy and impressing in the first team when given the opportunity to do so, it would be very beneficial for him too to have one full season at senior level learning directly from Moutinho while receiving plenty of game time.
Therefore, it would be foolish from Wolves and manager Bruno Lage not to renew the 35-year-old’s deal, for at least one more season with him still showing the ability and level required to be a top footballer in the Premier League.