Molineux latest news: 186-game Wolves star who 'was a real threat' has 'really plateaued'

Wolves manager Bruno Lage with his arms outstretched on the touchline

The Express & Star journalist Luke Hatfield believes Ruben Neves has failed to kick on at Wolves in recent years.

Neves is into his fifth season at Molineux, and has featured regularly during that time, but Hatfield has not been particularly impressed by Neves' contributions over the last couple of seasons.

What is Neves' record at Wolves?

Having joined from Porto in July 2017, Neves was a mainstay in Wolves' midfield as they gained promotion from the Championship in his first campaign at the club.

During that season, he found the net on six occasions in the league, and he followed that up by scoring four times in his first term in the Premier League.

However, the following year he managed just two top-flight goals, and although he bumped that number up to five in 2020/21, all of those goals came in January and February, as he struggled to make a consistent impact throughout the season.

Overall, Neves has played 186 matches for Wolves, netting 21 goals and delivering 10 assists.

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What has Hatfield said about Neves?

Neves has been left out of Bruno Lage's starting XI in two of Wolves' last four Premier League games. Hatfield has hinted that Neves only has himself to blame for being dropped, as he feels the 24-year-old's career has stagnated after he initially made a positive impression in the Midlands.

Talking to GIVEMESPORT, Hatfield said: “It’s an interesting situation with Ruben Neves. He’s a player who really stood out for Wolves in the Championship, and that first season in the Premier, he was a real threat. But he’s really plateaued since then.” 

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Can Neves get back to his best at Wolves?

Arriving at Wolves as a 20-year-old, Neves looked to be a huge talent in his first couple of seasons at the club. Unfortunately for him, he has been unable to take his game to the next level since then, and his career seems to be at a crossroads. 

He has put in some good performances this season, including against Tottenham back in August, when he delivered five key passes - more than any of his teammates. That showed what he is capable of when he is firing on all cylinders.

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Who did Wolves beat on the opening day of the 2020/21 campaign?

Yet we haven't seen that kind of showing on a consistent basis lately. For now, he must focus on working harder than ever to get back into Wolves' starting line-up, and then play so well that Lage doesn't even think about dropping him again.

However, if he continues to fail to deliver the goods regularly, he may need to think about moving elsewhere and freshening things up to get his career back on track. 

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