Wolverhampton Wanderers legend Kenny Hibbitt reckons Ruben Neves needs to be playing further forwards.

The 24-year-old has often been deployed just in front of the back three this season.

Newcastle United v Wolverhampton Wanderers - Premier League
Ruben Neves (Photo by Richard Sellers – Pool/Getty Images)

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That’s a position he’s done well in, as it makes good use of his fantastic passing range.

But since the turn of the year, Neves has roamed a little further forwards, and Hibbitt thinks he should be taking up such positions more often.

He said (via Shropshire Star): “I’ve always rated Neves. It just seems sometimes he’s been asked to sit in front of the back four, when he’s got better quality than that, for me.

Newcastle United v Wolverhampton Wanderers - Premier League
Ruben Neves (Photo by Jack Thomas – WWFC/Wolves via Getty Images)

“As a midfielder, my job was to link up with the front men and get in the box when it went wide.

“He’s a creative player, who can make good passes and open defences up.

 

“He’s a lovely striker of the ball, so when you’ve got that in your armoury, you should push yourself to get more shots on goal.”

Hibbitt has a point

At the very least, Neves should be a central midfielder.

Not defensive, not attacking, just central.

Newcastle United v Wolverhampton Wanderers - Premier League
Ruben Neves (Photo by Jack Thomas – WWFC/Wolves via Getty Images)

While he has come up with several goals in 2021, he can obviously still be effective from deeper positions.

He’s a very astute tackler and interceptor, and the team would lose those particular aspects of his game by pushing him higher up. Given his fantastic engine and strong all-round game, perhaps a box-to-box role would be best.

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