Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has urged the club’s hierarchy to make a winter move for Al-Hilal midfielder Ruben Neves, according to Sport.
The Portuguese was linked with several European clubs during last summer’s transfer window, but only Al-Hilal were willing to meet the demands of Wolves.
The 26-year-old made the switch to the Saudi Arabia for €55 million, but it is reported that Arteta has a ‘new wish’ to bring him back to the Premier League.
Thomas Partey has been struggling with form and injuries this term and Sport claim that the Gunners boss wants to replace him with the ex-Porto man.
Neves won’t be an upgrade on Partey
Neves has been linked with the Gunners for some period of time. He was mentioned as a target earlier this summer before his move to the Middle East.
The speculation has been reignited ahead of the New Year but in our opinion, it could be agent-driven in order to attract interest from other European teams.
In our view, Neves won’t be an upgrade on Partey. Last season, the Portuguese had a passing accuracy of 84 per cent in the Premier League, much less than Partey (88).
The Gunners ace also won a higher percentage of duels (59) compared to Neves (53) and was dispossessed on fewer occasions per league game (9.7 to 12).
Neves would be a good short-term signing but should not be seen as a direct replacement for Partey. Arsenal should not look beyond a loan deal for the midfielder.
Someone like Martin Zubimendi would be a better fit for the Gunners but Real Sociedad are unlikely to accept a winter exit unless his €60m release clause is triggered.
Stats from Sofascore.com & Transfermarkt.com