Wolverhampton Wanderers have brought in a slew of highly rated Portuguese talent over the years, but arguably none have been as successful as Ruben Neves.
The stalwart in the Old Gold midfield, tempting him to Molineux and forking out a Championship record fee of around £15m was a real statement of intent from the new owners.
Have Wolves made a better signing in recent years than Ruben Neves?
He would oversee their promotion back to the Premier League and has continued to dominate the midfield ever since.
The influence he has had on the side has even led to him being appointed captain in the absence of Conor Coady, who was allowed to join Everton this summer.
Having now made 220 appearances for the club, the 25-year-old has established himself as one of the leading central midfielders in the division.
Across this period he has also chipped in with 25 goals, many of which have been straight out of the top drawer.
His consistently impressive performances have understandably led to an increase in value, with CIES Football Observatory rating him at €35m (£30m). This marks a 100% increase, however, the club understandably would demand much more from any potential suitors.
With Manchester United having shown an interest in his services over the summer, it was claimed that he would be “perfect” for them due to his age, versatility and his “solid” start to the 2021/22 season.
However, he remains under Bruno Lage’s leadership and will be desperate to spark a turnaround in form for his side.
The statistics do denote his influence in midfield, as he ranks in the top 10% for clearances for midfielders across Europe’s top five leagues whilst also attempting nearly 67 passes per game.
His start to this season too has been nothing short of exceptional, with an average SofaScore rating of 7.49 making him his side’s top performer by some way and ranking him as the top division’s 11th best player as a whole.
Averaging 1.0 key passes per game, as well as an astounding 77.9 touches per game, he is a constant influence who is desperate to take possession and make something happen.
His fearlessness has undoubtedly aided his success, and at his current rate, he will only continue to increase in value.