Is a Benfica prodigy the ideal player for Manchester City’s midfield?

Heading into the summer transfer window, signing solid support for Rodri appears to be a major priority for Manchester City. City’s midfield general carries a heavy workload for the world champions, and it appears that he needs reliable support in the heart of City’s midfield. One player who appears to be the ideal player to come into the City squad is Benfica prodigy Joao Neves. But if Manchester City were to move for what would they be getting?

Joao Neves had a fantastic season for Benfica this campaign. He made 55 appearances in all competitions, adding 3 goals and 2 assists. For a 19 year old his rise in Benfica’s midfield was remarkable. Neves showed incredible maturity beyond his years to become a key contributor for Benfica this season. Playing primarily as a holding midfielder, he was one of Benfica’s best players this season. He was an integral piece in a side that finished second to Sporting Lisbon in the Portuguese Premiera League this season.

That strong form and the age and undoubted potential of the Benfica prodigy has put him on the radar of several big clubs this summer. Earlier this season, Sean Walsh and Graeme Bailey reported for that Manchester City was leading the race for Joao Neves. It remains to be seen if the champions will move for Neves this summer. But he is an intriguing player, and the prospect of him slotting into City’s midfield isn’t a far-fetched idea.

What could Joao Neves could add to Manchester City’s squad?

What stands out in Joao Neves game is his ability to dictate matches. For a player so young, it is a standout feature of his game. His ability to break up Benfica’s opponents’ play is another standout attribute. Those two attributes immediately appear well suited to life at Manchester City as cover for Rodri. But in possession, the Benfica prodigy shines, which makes him a tantalising prospect.

Joao Neves has the ability to dictate games from deep in midfield. He is cool and calm in possession, and that is a prerequisite for a holding midfielder in Pep Guardiola’s side. It is an impressive attribute in his game. His positional awareness is also outstanding, especially for a player so young. The Benfica prodigy appears to be the complete package for a holding midfielder, especially for a player so young.

The case for Joao Neves to slot into Manchester City’s squad appears clear cut, but price may be a factor.

As a player, Joao Neves appears to be well suited for a role in Pep Guardiola’s squad. Given his age, he could potentially be happy to learn his and develop his trade while learning under Pep Guardiola and playing behind Rodri. He could also potentially form a dynamic partnership in the heart of City’s midfield with the Spanish international. That would be a tantalising prospect.

However, there seems to be one possible impediment to Manchester City signing Joao Neves. Fabrizio Romano has previously told that there is an €120 million release clause attached to the contract of Joao Neves. Romano adds that if Benfica are to part ways with their talented midfielder, they will likely demand the release clause be met.

As a player, Joao Neves ticks a lot of boxes required to potentially become a Manchester City player. The price, however, may be a potential impediment on any City move for the Benfica prodigy. This summer promises to be a busy one for Manchester City. It remains to be seen if they would invest a sizable fee for Joao Neves. But if they were to pay a €120 million for a player that could potentially play an important role for the world champions and set their midfield up for the future, Joao Neves may be worth the investment.

Tags 90min Benfica Graeme Bailey Joao Neves Manchester City Pep Guardiola Rodri Sean Walsh