Portuguese midfielder Ruben Neves remained at Wolves this summer despite being linked with some bigger clubs like Manchester United and Arsenal
Ruben Neves made the right decision to remain at Wolves this summer amid interest from bigger clubs, according to new boss Bruno Lage.
But Lage admits it is a challenge to convince the club’s top stars to stay after Nuno Espirito Santo left following two seventh places in three years.
Neves,24, was heavily linked with Arsenal and Manchester United this summer after his ex-Porto mentor Nuno left.
But the Portuguese midfielder has impressed for Wanderers this term in a new-look two-man central midfield.
The star was excellent last weekend in a 2-0 win at Watford as Lage’s men recorded their first win.
Neves is under contract at Molineux until 2024 after joining from Porto in July 2017 for £15.8million.
Lage assessed: “If he continues to play well he will continue to be part of the project. I see him training very hard with a big ambition to improve himself. There is no secrets, if he trains the way he trains, he plays the way he is playing.
“This is life after the big teams come for this player. I live with the rumour he can leave but he stayed with us. In this way he took the best decision. Don’t go, stay and continue to improve with us and help us to be better. Let’s see what happens.
“What Nuno did was very good and I want to continue with that. The project is to take Wolves to the next step. From the club’s side we need to conquer our players to stay with us.
“Not just with a contract and salary but more ambition to be better.”
Striker Raul Jimenez,30, led the line at Watford as he continues his comeback this term from a fractured skull.
The Mexican has had 13 shots in four games with a shooting accuracy of just eight per cent as he adjusts to the Premier League again after his horrific injury.
But Lage is very pleased with his work-rate and overall contribution ahead of Brentford’s visit on Saturday.
Lage added: “Raul is an experienced guy to avoid the dark side of being a striker when you don’t score goals and you start to have doubts.
“The way he works for the team and the way he helps us and presses, the way he creates a lot of chances, makes me very happy.”