Dias, who is regarded as one of the most sought-after young centre-backs in Europe, has been on the radar of the Black Country outfit over the last twelve months, while Premier League giants Arsenal and Man United have also been credited with an interest in the 22-year-old. (h/t Birmingham Live)
The academy graduate helped Benfica register their first victory in the Group G, as Pizzi’s late winner sealed all three points for the Portuguese giants after Rafa Silva’s early opener had been cancelled out by Memphis Depay’s strike midway through the second half.
The 16-cap Portuguese international has been linked with a big-money move to Molineux in recent times and Wolves sending their scouts to monitor the 22-year-old could be indicative of their desire to make an official approach for the player’s services in January.
The report doesn’t clearly mention whether Wolves are looking forward to firming up their interest in Ruben Dias during the mid-season trading period but it wouldn’t be surprising if they are already planning to do so, given that the Benfica academy graduate has progressed by leaps and bounds over the past twelve months.
Dias was one of the stars of Portugal’s triumphant campaign in the inaugural UEFA Nations League last season and he has continued his impressive run of form this term as well, racking up 12 appearances for Benfica across all competitions.
A part of Portugal’s squad at the 2018 FIFA World Cup last summer, the 22-year-old has gone from strength to strength ever since making his professional debut for Benfica in the 2017-18 season.
The highly-rated centre-back has caught the eye with his towering stature, aerial pedigree, robust tackling and exceptional ball-playing skills and it wouldn’t be a surprise if he goes on to become Benfica’s next multi-million-pound sale in January.
Meanwhile, Wolves had a rather quiet summer transfer window by their recent lofty standards, with Nuno Espirito Santo opting against bringing in significant reinforcements, despite the possibility of increased workload stemming from the club’s progress through to the group stages of the Europa League.
The likes of Pedro Neto and Patrick Cutrone were brought in as promising long-term prospects but Wolves’ mediocre start to the Premier League this season is indicative of the fact that the pressure of playing in Europe has, indeed, taken a toll on their rather small and tight-knit squad.
To that end, Nuno Santo needs to consider bolstering the squad with some top-quality players in January regardless of whether Wolves manage to secure qualification to the knockout stages of the Europa League and bringing in someone like Ruben Dias could be a masterstroke moving forward.
Given that the likes of Conor Coady, Willy Boly and Ryan Bennett were amongst the pillars of Wolves’ successful season last time around, the manager opted against reshuffling his back-three heading into the ongoing campaign, with Jesus Vallejo coming through the door as the lone defensive recruit in the summer.
While Boly has certainly repaid the manager’s faith in his defenders by continuing to deliver the goods this term, the likes of Coady and Bennett have been rather inconsistent and have often contributed to the team’s undoing with lapses in concentration.
Suffice to say, Ruben Dias, who is amongst the best rising talents in the continent, would be an instant upgrade on all the existing defensive options at the club and his arrival would certainly go a long way towards transforming Wolves into a rock-solid unit at the back.
Wolves already have a strong Portuguese contingent at the club and that is likely to make it easier for Dias to acclimatise to his new surroundings should a move to Molineux materialize in the near future.
Benfica are known to be tough negotiators in the market when it comes to selling their prized academy talents and Wolves would probably need to shell out a club-record fee to get their hands on him in January.
However, given his prodigious talent and vast potential, one would expect the Portuguese star to eventually make the step up to the Premier League and the 22-year-old could be well worth the outlay for Wolves, as they look to push on for greater glory under Nuno Santo.
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