Wolves captain Conor Coady has admitted that he feared Ruben Neves may not be up for the demands for English football.
Speaking on the In the Stiffs Podcast, Coady shared a story from Neves’ first pre-season friendly at Shrewsbury, where Wolves lost under Nuno Espirito Santo.
But he of course admitted that Neves has gone on to make him eat his words and he is now a player who is so vital to Wolves.
“Remember we got tonked by Shrewsbury, didn’t we? Came from Austria and got battered. I remember Ruben Neves went off injured,” said Coady.
“Honestly, I remember thinking to myself: ‘this fella?’ I can say this now because he’s one of my best mates but Shrewsbury were flying into you and Ruben got absolutely walloped.
“It was his first game and I thought [is English football going to be for him?] It’s a natural thing to think of. I ate my words, though. What a player.”
There is always the concern with players coming in from other leagues that they might not be able to handle the demands of English football.
But Neves has too much quality for that and has added battling qualities and energy to his technical gifts to become an outstanding midfielder.
He is having another outstanding season and has taken his game on to a new level under Bruno Lage. Long may it continue.
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