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What Arsenal’s midfield could look like if they sign Ruben Neves

What Arsenal’s midfield could look like if they sign Ruben Neves

Arsenal in talks for Neves

Arsenal are in talks for Wolverhampton Wanderers midfielder Ruben Neves as the potential sale of Granit Xhaka edges ever closer.

The Arsenal midfielder has been linked with a move to Roma for a number of weeks now and according to’s Chris Wheatley, the Swiss international could secure his departure very soon.

This would open up an opportunity for Arsenal to bring in a player and it does appear that Neves is the club’s choice.

Wolves are reportedly open to letting the former Porto man go for around £35 million. A significant drop from the €80 million price tag which was set on his head after his first full season in the Premier League.

What could Arsenal look like with Neves?

One might think that Ruben Neves would simply slot into the same position vacated by Granit Xhaka.

The Swiss midfielder has played alongside Thomas Partey in a 4-2-3-1 system on many occasions.

Alternatively, Mikel Arteta has also trialled a 3-4-3 system in which Xhaka has played again as one of the two central midfielders.

Neves could certainly fill in the role that Xhaka has been deployed in. His defensive statistics for defensive duels and interceptions are better than that of Xhaka for last season.

However, Neves is a player that does like to venture forwards and find space on the edge of the box to either shoot or find a ball into the 18-yard area for a teammate.

What Arsenal’s midfield could look like if they sign Ruben Neves

LONDON, ENGLAND – MARCH 18: Bruma of Olympiakos battles for possession with Thomas Partey of Arsenal during the UEFA Europa League Round of 16 Second Leg match between Arsenal and Olympiacos at Emirates Stadium on March 18, 2021 in London, England. Sporting stadiums around Europe remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Playing Neves and Partey together but in a 4-3-3 formation could open up some new opportunities for Arsenal. Should the club look to pursue a number 6 style defensive midfielder with mobility, such as Yves Bissouma, they could be positioned behind Neves and Partey.

This would give the pair more freedom and, for Partey in particular, greater assurance about influencing the game in the final third.

Should Xhaka leave, solely targeting his replacement would be a mistake by Arsenal. Bringing in two central midfielders of contrasting styles would provide greater versatility, variation and quality for Mikel Arteta to utilise.

What Arsenal’s interest in Ruben Neves means for Yves Bissouma

Ruben Neves latest ahead of Wolves’ meeting with Burnley

This article was edited by Ben Browning.

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