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Ruben Neves: ‘I signed for Wolves with my eyes closed’

(Photo: Reuters)

By Adam Ellis

The Championship’s record signing Ruben Neves has said a will to ‘evolve’ and a chat with Nuno Espirito Santo drew him to Molineux.

The subject of a £15.8million move which turned heads in English football’s second tier, Neves upped sticks at his hometown club Porto to become a part of Wolves’ chase for promotion.

Speaking to Porto-based outlet O Jogo, Neves insisted he needed to continue to improve after finding himself on the bench at the Estádio do Dragão in the second half of last season.

“I’m still very young and I need to continue to evolve. I needed to play more so I accepted Wolves’ offer with my eyes closed,” the midfielder said.

“I love Porto, but I need to develop. I was stalling. Who was to blame for this? Danilo, but he is the Liga’s best at playing the number 6 role and is Porto’s best player.”

At 20, Neves is the youngest player to have captained the 27-time champions of Portugal in both the league and in the UEFA Champions League.

Seeking new challenges in the Black Country revolutionised by Jeff Shi and player agent Jorge Mendes, Neves said it was former Porto boss Santo who swayed him towards Molineux as he plotted his future.

“I spoke with Nuno before accepting Wolves’ offer as I already knew him from last season. I liked this project and his words.

“I know I have to give my best to Wolves, but I’ll get more opportunities in the future and people will see all that I can give.

Born in Mozeulo, a Porto suburb based in the south of the city, Neves didn’t shy away from saying he envisaged himself back at his boyhood club, where he dreams of winning the league title after Benfica’s dominance in recent years.

“I want to realize my goals and one of them is to be champion with Porto. I will certainly be back to achieve that one day,” Neves concluded.

Appearing for Wolves in pre-season, the club’s record signing hobbled off against Shrewsbury at the weekend with a calf injury, and was later seen wearing a protective boot.

But Wolves medical staff have revealed the injury is not as bad as first feared and the midfielder should be back in action before they kick their season off against promotion contenders Middlesbrough.

This article was brought to you by The Football League Paper. On-sale every Sunday, the newspaper provides extensive coverage for all 72 Football League clubs with news, features and gossip plus comprehensive match reports.
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