By Scott Taylor
Rúben Neves has emerged as a target for Premier League side Liverpool. Neves, 17, has attracted interest of several top European clubs with Liverpool joining the race. The Porto defensive midfielder has already been watched three times by the Reds’ scouts.
Overall, Neves has featured ten times for his side this season after joining the clubs academy in 2005 at the age of eight. He became the youngest player for Porto to score a goal on their debut, as he scored in Porto’s 2-0 win at home to Maritimo. Just five days later, Neves became the youngster ever Portuguese player in the Champions League when he starred in Porto’s 1-0 defeat to Lille.
His incredible year continued as he led the Portugal Under 17s side to the semi-finals of 2014 European Under 17 Championship, and in doing so was recognised as one of the top ten talents of the tournament.
Neves started playing international football as an Under 16 player from 2012-13. He went on to make ten appearances, scoring once. He progressed up to Portugal Under 17s in the same year, and even though he featured for the Under 17s in their recent tournament he did drop down a few age groups in order to do so. Overall, he has made 31 appearances, scoring twice. After making just two appearances for the Under 18s, Neves moved up to Rui Jorge’s Portugal Under 21s where he currently plays. In his brief spell with Portugal Under 21s, the Porto man has made three appearances with just the one goal to his name, in a 7-4 aggregate win over the Netherlands.
In his time as a Under 16 international, Neves had a loan spell with Portuguese Second Division side Padroense, which is effectively a Porto Under 19 side.