Luis Castro, the former trainer of Manchester United transfer target Joao Neves, believes that the midfielder will excel should he secure a move to the Premier League.
According to Sport Witness, Castro claimed during a conversation with Portuguese news outlet O Jogo that the Benfica midfielder would shine in the Premier League.
“(He can) play in any championship in the world. (He’s) a complete and very intelligent player,” Castro said of his former pupil, adding that he is a focused player who received very good training at Benfica.
Right before the summer transfer deadline, The Peoples Person reported that United entered talks with Benfica to inquire about the 18-year-old.
Still, even if the Portuguese club were prepared to let Neves leave, he would be sure to cost United a hefty transfer fee.
With numerous clubs reportedly taking an interest in the prodigy, Benfica decided in June to significantly raise their release clause for Neves from €60m to €100m.
Neves caught United’s attention with his breakthrough campaign last season in which he made 20 league appearances for Benfica as well as his Champions League debut.
While primarily a central midfielder, Neves has proven to be highly versatile, playing as a defensive midfielder as well as a winger and even up front when needed.
The 18-year-old registered one goal in 17 league matches and an assist in three Champions League appearances last season. (Transfermarkt)
This season, Neves seems to be off to a quicker start, already registering an assist after just four starts in the league.
With a 91% pass accuracy, Neves could be a strong midfield asset for United should he be lured to Old Trafford.
Even with United’s midfield ranks seemingly overloaded, particularly after the arrivals of Mason Mount and Sofyan Amrabat, Neves’ youth could make him a decent player to nurture for the future, particularly as the likes of Casemiro and Christian Eriksen reach the twilight years of their careers.