Gabriel Neves’ arrival in São Paulo raised doubts about what role he could play in the team led by Hernán Crespo. A player with good passing and constant movement between defense and attack, the Uruguayan has a style of play similar to that of Igor Liziero, despite sometimes acting as the first defensive midfielder for Nacional, from Uruguay.
The squad as first defensive midfielder usually happens to qualify the ball out. Sometimes at Nacional, Neves would fit between the two defenders to help in the beginning of the plays.
Gabriel Neves’ heat map in the three games he played against Nacional in the last Libertadores is a good example of the midfielder’s performance. As well as entering the defense area to get the ball, he goes beyond the midfield to serve his teammates.
When playing as a second defensive midfielder, Neves works as a kind of retreating guard, launching into the attack. Despite being right-handed, the 24-year-old athlete also finds it easy to play with his left leg.
“Gabriel Neves has very interesting characteristics. He looks a lot like Bruno Guimarães [volante do Lyon e da seleção brasileira], many things are similar between them. His displacement is also very interesting. It gets to attack, but it also helps in defense. To use the Brazilian national team as an example, he is capable of playing in the position of Casemiro or further ahead, playing the role of Fred”, explains Uruguayan journalist Guillermo Lorenzotti, from “Oriental 770” radio.
Gabriel Neves is one of the highlights of Nacional from the youth categories. This season, however, ended up losing ground amid the team’s poor start in the national tournament and speculation about the future. He hasn’t started a game as a starter since mid-July.
At the beginning of the season, he even negotiated with São Paulo, but the conversations did not evolve. Now, he leaves the club that revealed him to be the 18th Uruguayan in the history of São Paulo.
“He’s a very interesting player. I think he can achieve important things in São Paulo”, completes Lorenzotti.