Manchester United are keeping tabs on Benfica midfielder Joao Neves with a keen interest in signing him during January
Manchester United have sent scouts to assess Benfica midfielder Joao Neves as they plan to sign the midfielder during January.
Neves, an all-round midfielder, emphasizes defensive and team build-up aspects. Despite his small stature, he wields deceptive strength, skilfully tackling opponents on his feet or sliding while analysing their game.
Mature in decision-making and communication, the Portugal international dominates possession, offering constant support to teammates. The 19-year-old maintains exceptional ball control, aiding teammates and displaying adeptness on the ball.
The young defensive midfielder showcases attacking prowess with composed passing and technique. Although aspects of his game remain undeveloped, experience and quality coaching promise his thriving potential.
Chelsea’s January 2023 signing of Enzo Fernandez enabled Neves to step into Benfica’s senior team effortlessly. He earned praise from Benfica’s academy coaches, smoothly transitioning to the senior level while becoming a key first-team player.
ESPN reported that the Red Devils have sent scouts to assess Neves during Benfica’s 2-1 home win against Sporting CP. The 19-year-old has made 18 appearances for Benfica this season and contributed a goal and an assist.
United are looking for a long-term replacement for their currently-injured defensive midfielder, Casemiro. Many experts have criticized the Brazil captain for his overall performances this season despite being prolific in front of goals.
Casemiro has failed to shore up the spaces between midfield and defence as opponents continuously exploit the areas. The Red Devils have conceded 30 goals from 18 matches in all competitions, losing nine of those matches this season.
Furthermore, new midfield signings Sofyan Amrabat and Mason Mount have failed to make an impact for the club. United manager Erik ten Hag has deployed a rigid 4-2-4 formation in the two games before the November international break.
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The formation requires a double-pivot midfielder with emphasis on the midfielders to create and shore up spaces. Neves fits the profile of a player that would suit the system and his young age makes him a long-term replacement for Casemiro. We don’t know if Benfica will be willing to negotiate for their star youngster. The Portugal club earns its reputation by negotiating hard and extracting substantial transfer value for their top assets.