Wolves fans were once again left in awe this weekend after a magnificent performance from Ruben Neves.
The Portuguese playmaker lined up in midfield for his 30th appearance of the season – and it was perhaps his best of the campaign so far.
Much has been made of how good Wolves have been defensively this season.
Jose Sa has gained a lot of plaudits for the impact has had replacing Rui Patricio.
Max Kilman has also received a lot of praise for his emergence under Bruno Lage, and Conor Coady and Romain Saiss have also done very well.
But Neves is someone that has also continually stood out for Wanderers this term.
The 25-year-old has been a quality player for a few years now.
But the star seems to have gone to a different level this season following the arrival of Lage.
Wolves are enjoying a little bit more of the ball than they were last season under Nuno Espirito Santo. Lage arrived at Molineux with a reputation of playing attacking, possession-based football, and Neves was likely always going to be a player who would respond well to someone with such a philosophy.
Of course, we haven’t yet seen this style consistently.
But once Lage gets the players he wants in, Wolves could become a team that dominates the ball most games.
And Neves would be right at the heart of the project with his sublime passing range.
But it isn’t just the passing that is helping Neves to constantly impress. His work-rate is phenomenal, he reads the game brilliantly and he likes to put a foot in.
He can also carry the ball if he needs to, as he showcased against Everton.
Arguably, the one thing he needs to do now to reach the next level – that world-class level – is to add a few more goals and assists to his game.
It’s difficult to disagree. But as Neves comes into his prime years, there’s a reasonable chance they’ll start to come more regularly.
Ruben Neves now knocking on the ‘world-class’ door and Wolves need to keep him
There is no doubt about it. Neves is emerging as a superstar at Molineux.
He is truly a luxury player who is a genuine joy to watch with the ball at his feet.
The star has been consistently excellent this term and will be in the running for Wolves’ Player of the Season when the 2021/22 campaign concludes.
He may ultimately lose out to Sa or Kilman, but that would only be because of the huge impacts they’ve made to a defence that seriously struggled last season.
But Neves has been sensational, and Wolves have simply got to keep him at all costs if the club is to have any domestic or European success in the near future.