Yesterday Spanish website El Gol Digital (EGD), referencing another Spanish source fijaches.com, mentioned that Ander Herrera’s time at Manchester United was up and that the Red Devils were looking at Wolves star Ruben Neves as a replacement.

EGD said that Herrera’s situation at Old Trafford was anything but secure, this insecurity arising despite having recently signed an extension to his contract. They added that important teams like Atletico Madrid” are watching the Herrera situation unfold at Old Trafford with the intention of signing the former Chelsea man in the summer.

With this in mind, and to balance out Herrera’s said summer departure, EGD say that their attention is being directed to Wolves’ Portuguese starlet Ruben Neves (below). Quoting fichajes.com’s Juan Navarro, they say that Jose Mourinho is looking to bring in the talented four-cap Portugal international.

Fichaje.com say that Manchester United have “already begun to consider his hiring for next year,” a sign that Jose Mourinho is targeting him as a replacement for the said outgoing Herrera. They also say that his time in the Championship for Wolves has allowed his to showcase his considerable talent, something that has served to “even increase the curiosity of the great teams on the continent.”

Super agent Jorge Mendes was instrumental in bringing the rising Portugal starlet to English football’s second tier competition. Wolves paid a sum of around £16 million to bring in youngster Neves ahead of the start of the 2017/18 campaign and the young midfielder has become instrumental in what many observers say is a Wolves team too good for the Championship.

Rounding off his article, fichaje’s Navarro states that Manchester United are “anxious to improve the benefits” of the core of its squad and have thus “decided to narrow its monitoring” of the four-cap Portugal international.

The question remains, what will Manchester United be gaining by replacing Herrera with Neves and what losses will that lead to for Wolves?

Ander Herrera vs Ruben Neves – head-to-head comparison

Here we take a look at the ‘per 90 minutes’ statistics from both Herrera and Neves’ 2017/18 campaigns so far. Looking at the ‘per 90’ returns allows for both players to be judged equally on their expected output across a typical 90 minutes, even if their minutes played are unequal. For comparison purposes: Ander Herrera (19 Premier League appearances – 873 minutes); Ruben Neves (32 Championship appearances – 2776 minutes).

  • Shots (per 90): Neves 2.1 (2 outside box/0.1 penalty area); Herrera 0.3 (0.3 outside box)
  • Dribbles (per 90): Neves 0.7 (0.6 successful/0.1 unsuccessful); Herrera 1 (0.8 successful/0.2 unsuccessful)
  • Possession Loss (per 90): Neves 2 (1 bad touch/1 tackled); Herrera 0.8 (0.5 bad touches/0.3 tackled)
  • Tackles (per 90): Neves 4 attempted tackles (2.2 successful/1.8 unsuccessful/55% success); Herrera 3.9 attempted tackles (2.2 successful/1.7 unsuccessful/56% success)
  • Interceptions (per 90): Neves 1.9; Herrera 1.3
  • Clearances (per 90): Neves 1.2; Herrera 0.7
  • Blocks (per 90): Neves 1.6 (1 pass/0.4 shots/0.2 crosses); Herrera 1.3 (1.1 passes/0.2 shots)
  • Total Defensive Actions (per 90): Neves 6.9; Herrera 5.5
  • Passes (per 90): Neves 62.8 attempted (53.1 successful/84.5% accuracy); Herrera 34.2 attempted (29.1 completed/85% accuracy)
  • Chance creation (per 90): Neves 0.9 (1.7% of completed passes); Herrera 0.5 (1.9% of completed passes)

Stats derived from relevant player pages on WhoScored.com

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Cynicism turned to optimism but without the woop woops and ringing bells. Leeds United supporter through thick and thin, more thin than anything recently. Write mainly about the Whites but turn my hand to other clubs. Lover of salted crisp sandwiches. Not a hipster.

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