Wolves drew 0-0 with Burnley last night – and Matt Holland suggested afterwards on Amazon Prime that Ruben Neves’ absence was key to their struggles.
He was unavailable for selection after picking up his fifth booking of the season against Norwich City.
Bruno Lage therefore brought in Leander Dendoncker alongside Joao Moutinho.
The Belgian did OK in the middle of the park, but Wolves had no real incision about them.
According to Holland, Neves was sorely missed.
He said: “I think they missed Neves. I think he’s been their best player this season. Because of his ambition.
“He looks forward, he looks to try and hit the killer passes, he’s got the ability to do that. I think they missed his range of passing.”
Neves has so far made 14 appearances this season.
The star has regularly been one of the better performers in games for Wolves, and it’s been a struggle for the team when he’s not started.
Fortunately, he’ll be available again this weekend against Liverpool, and Wolves are certainly going to need him.
Wolves much worse off without maestro Neves
Neves is hugely important to this Wolves team.
When he doesn’t play, or doesn’t play from the start, Wolves suffer. It’s all very flat and turgid.
As Holland says, Neves does get his head up and look to play forwards and a bit more directly.
He is probably unlikely to go anywhere in January, but it is worrying to think of how Wolves could be affected if he moves on in the summer. The interest in him will surely be high.