Lopetegui says Ruben Neves had a knock when he came off for Wolves against Leeds
Wolverhampton Wanderers v Leeds United - Premier League
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Lopetegui says Ruben Neves had a knock when he came off for Wolves against Leeds

Julen Lopetegui said after the defeat to Leeds United that Ruben Neves came off having been managing a knock.

The maestro made way towards the end of the game and was replaced by Joao Moutinho.

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Neves was arguably Wolves’ best player against the Whites.

He was excellent in midfield as is the case most weeks, and sprayed the ball about beautifully.

Some were left scratching their heads when he was substituted by Lopetegui.

But the head coach revealed the 25-year-old had actually been struggling a little coming into the game.

He said (Express & Star): “He had some problems in the week and he was at his limit with his calf, that’s why we changed him.”

Some had wondered whether Lopetegui was actually trying to protect Neves from getting another yellow card.

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At the moment, the captain is on nine for the season. One more before the game with Leicester City in April, and he will have to serve a two-game ban.

Lopetegui has always maintained though that the threat of another yellow card for Neves won’t influenced his management of him.

It remains to be seen if this issue for Neves will be a problem.

He has been selected for international duty, with Portugal in action against Liechtenstein and Luxembourg.

Lopetegui will be sweating over Ruben Neves with midfielder on international duty, after Wolves ace was managing a knock

Neves has indeed joined up with the national team, indicating his issue isn’t serious.

But Lopetegui will likely be feeling a little anxious over his captain.

Neves being available for Wolves’ final 10 games is absolutely paramount. To lose him for any period would be a massive blow.

Photo by Cameron Smith – WWFC/

Lopetegui will also be sweating over the other players that have gone away on international duty, as will all other Premier League managers over their own players.

It is a huge part of the season, and the potential for injuries is always a major concern.