Ruben Neves: Portugal star reminds me of Steven Gerrard - Wolves captain Coady

Wolves captain Conor Coady (right) led the celebrations at Molineux after Ruben Neves hit his dream volley against Derby County
Wolves captain Conor Coady (right) led the celebrations at Molineux after Ruben Neves hit his dream volley against Derby

Wolves captain Conor Coady says playing alongside team-mate Ruben Neves during this Championship-winning season has reminded him of his old Liverpool team-mate Steven Gerrard.

As a fellow six-foot midfielder, Coady, 25, himself drew comparisons with the England captain during his early days.

But the converted centre-half now sees Neves, 21, as being in Gerrard's class.

"Ruben Neves is by far one of the best players I've ever played with," Coady told BBC Radio Merseyside.

"When I was coming through, Steven Gerrard was playing more as a sitting midfielder under Brendan Rodgers.

Conor Coady made only a few appearances in a Liverpool shirt before leaving first for Huddersfield, then on to Wolves
Conor Coady had few appearances in a Liverpool shirt before leaving first for Huddersfield, then on to Wolves

"Ruben is very similar, in terms of his passing range. The way he manipulates the ball around his feet and picks out passes.

"And the goals he has been scoring are sensational. He's got six, all from outside the box.

"Obviously, people are still talking about the volley against Derby - that was the best of the lot, I was stood right behind it.

"But the one he scored at Sheffield Wednesday was totally different. He passed it into the bottom corner with the inside of his foot from about 25 yards - like a penalty."

The Ruben Neves private Goal of the Season contest

  • 15 August v Hull City (a) - 30-yard right foot shot. First goal in a 3-2 win.
  • 15 December v Sheff Weds (a) - 25-yard low side-foot shot. Only goal in 1-0 win.
  • 2 January v Brentford (h) - 25-yard right-foot free kick. First goal in a 3-0 win.
  • 3 Feb v Sheff Utd (h) - Right-foot curler into top corner. First goal in 3-0 win.
  • 6 April v Cardiff City (a) - 25-yard right-foot free kick. Only goal in 1-0 win.
  • 11 April v Derby County (h) - 30-yard right-foot volley. Second goal in 2-0 win.
The 30-yard volley against Derby is considered the best of the six superb goals scored by Ruben Neves for Wolves
The 30-yard volley against Derby is the best of the six superb goals scored so far by Ruben Neves for Wolves

How Neves adapted to the English game

Neves arrived last summer as the Championship's most costly signing, at a reported fee of £16.1m.

But he did not take long to be allocated his own song by the Molineux crowd and he has even been earmarked in recent weeks as a possible target for Champions League semi-finalists Liverpool.

But the Chinese-owned Wolves hierarchy have already made it clear that they want to keep hold of their prize assets in the top flight - and Coady is of the same mind.

Wolves trio Ruben Neves, Conor Coady and keeper John Ruddy (right)were all in the EFL Championship team of the season
Wolves' Ruben Neves, Conor Coady and keeper John Ruddy (right) all made the EFL Championship team of the season

"He's important to us as a player," added Coady. "He's very special. He's a very talented footballer but, more importantly, he's a great lad.

"He had a lot of people talking about him at the start of the season, saying 'he's coming from Porto, would he be able to adapt to the physicality?'

"But he's took to it like a duck to water. He's only 21 and he's playing well beyond his years.

"He came wanting to learn and he listens, he talks and he helps the other boys. Everything he's brought to the table has been fantastic.

"And what do you do when he keep scoring goals like that?" said Coady.

"You just give him a big kiss and say thank you."

Conor Coady (right) was part of Wolves' FA Cup winning side against Liverpool in January 2017 and is looking forward to going back to Anfield next season
Conor Coady (right) was part of Wolves' FA Cup winning side against Liverpool in January 2017 and is looking forward to going back to Anfield next season

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