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Paul Merson urges Chelsea FC to sign Ruben Neves from Wolves

Sky Sports pundit Paul Merson reckons Chelsea FC can solve their midfield crisis by signing Ruben Neves from Wolves in January

Paul Merson
Arsenal legend Paul Merson (Photo: Sky Sports)

Chelsea FC can solve their midfield crisis by signing Ruben Neves from Wolves in January, according to Sky Sports pundit Paul Merson.

The Blues have struggled in the absence of Mateo Kovacic and N’Golo Kante over the past few weeks after Chelsea FC dropped key points in the Premier League title race.

Neves was heavily linked with Arsenal and Manchester United in the summer but the Portugal international remained at Wolves for the first half of the 2021-22 season.

The 24-year-old has been a key player for Wolves since the box-to-box midfielder moved to the West Midlands club from FC Porto in the 2017 summer transfer window.

Neves has scored 21 goals in 193 games in all competitions for Wolves, getting vital Premier League experience under his belt in the past four-and-a-half seasons.

Sky Sports pundit Merson believes Neves would bolster Thomas Tuchel’s midfield if Chelsea FC managed to sign the Portuguese star in the upcoming transfer window.

“I think Chelsea are missing a Neves,” Merson said on Soccer Saturday on Sky Sports.

“I think they’re missing a player who can spray the ball round the pitch.

“[Mateo] Kovacic likes taking players on, Jorginho won’t kick the ball further than 10 yards, just keeps it going, [N’Golo] Kante’s an all-around-the-pitch kind of player.

“They’ve got no one who sprays the ball around, like a [James] Ward-Prowse or a Neves.

“The amount of times the other night when they made runs, the front three, where they ran and then they spun, and no one’s hitting them, no one’s hitting them.

“That’s the problem for me, Chelsea need someone who’s spraying the ball about.

“[Kante’s] not going to hit that ball.”

Wolves signed Neves in a £15.8m deal from Porto in 2017 after the central midfielder scored four goals in 93 games for his boyhood club in the Portuguese Primeira Liga.

The 24-year-old has also been capped 26 times by the Portugal national team.

Chelsea FC are still contending with an injury crisis in midfield as Kante and Kovacic continue to work on their fitness ahead of a return to the starting XI.

Tuchel confirmed last week that Italy international Jorginho and English midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek sustained knocks in their 1-1 draw with Everton on Thursday night.

“We have again Jorginho a doubt for Sunday because he’s in pain,” Tuchel said ahead of Chelsea FC’s clash against Wolves on Sunday.

“We have Ruben Loftus-Cheek a doubt because he’s in pain.

“I don’t know if it is possible for them to travel with us tomorrow and play on Sunday. So maybe we start with N’Golo and Mateo? Would that be fair [on them]? No. Would that be possible? I don’t know. But maybe we do it.

“We need to find the balance now because we put everything on Jorginho’s shoulders and Ruben got injured [on Wednesday]. So let’s see. Maybe we are forced to do the crazy stuff that we would normally not do. But what’s normal, we miss key players and need to find solutions.”

Chelsea FC are competing with Manchester City and Liverpool FC in the Premier League title race.

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