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Player Analysis: Pedro Neto

Pedro Neto: Who Is He? 

  • Name – Pedro Neto 
  • Age – 03/09/2000 (20 years old)
  • Rookie Season/ Team – 2017 / Braga 
  • Nationality – Portugal 
  • International Caps (Goals) – 1 (1)
  • Position – Winger 
  • Current Team / League – Wolverhampton Wanderers 

Pedro Neto: Career Overview 

Pedro Neto was born in Viana do Castelo and joined SC Braga’s youth setup when he was thirteen years old. His professional debut came while he was still a ‘junior’, appearing for Braga B in the Portuguese Segunda Liga. This was his only appearance for the second team, and just the weekend after, he made his senior debut for the first-team, scoring after just minutes on the pitch in one of the last games of the season. 

The next season, Neto was loaned to Serie A outfit Lazio, but only made four appearances for the senior team and played in ten games for the U19 squad, where he scored once and registered a single assist. 

In 2019, Neto moved to Wolverhampton Wanderers, which introduced him to a wider audience. Neto made his Wolves debut in a Europa League qualifying game, getting an assist for Morgan Gibbs-White in a 4-0 rout over Armenian side FC Pyunik, with the tie ending 8-0 on aggregate. His Premier League debut occurred a few days later as he replaced fellow Portuguese youngster Diogo Jota in a 1-1 draw with Manchester United. 

Pedro Neto’s first start for Wolves came against Watford at the Molineux where he assisted Matt Doherty’s goal as Wolves ended up winning 2-0 and he scored his first Premier League goal in the reverse fixture, although this time Watford emerged victorious. 

He finished his debut season in the Premier League with five goals in all competitions, making 44 appearances along the way. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kn-WoUBGdGQ

His Season So Far 

Wolves got off to a modest start this season, winning their first game, although losses to Manchester City and a 4-0 drubbing by West Ham quickly sent them down to earth. Neto scored the only goal in their next game against Fulham, which briefly put them back on track, as Wolves went unbeaten in their next three games. 

Towards the end of October, Neto came into form with an assist against Crystal Palace and then scoring twice on the bounce against Southampton and Arsenal. In November, his promise was rewarded with an international debut against Andorra in a friendly and scored the opening goal in the 7-0 win. Following a goal against Chelsea, Neto then went 10 games without a goal, although he provided two assists and he scored once again against struggling Southampton in mid-February. 

How Do His Stats Look?

Wolves have failed to capture the same form that saw them push for European place last season, but Neto has still impressed so far this season. Across his 31 appearances in all competitions (EPL, FA Cup, and EFL Cup), he has five goals and four assists, which is almost the same as Chelsea’s Mason Mount, although these have all come in the league. 

These stats are not as impressive as some of his contemporaries, such as Diogo Jota who has nine goals and has only just returned from an injury he suffered in December. But, perhaps Wolves’ stuttering form, losing Jota in the summer, and Raul Jimenez’s horrific head injury in November are partially responsible for this. 

Neto has had a part in three goals in Wolves last six games (1G, 2A), which makes up half of Wolves’ total goal during that time, and he is their second highest scorer this season. 

Why Has Pedro Neto’s Value Increased? 

  • One of the standout players in an otherwise underwhelming Wolves team compared to last season
  • He is Wolves’s second-highest scorer this season and has had a part in three goals in the last six games
  • There is strong competition in the Portugal team, but he should be on the plane for Euro 2021
  • Increased interest in soccer cards
  • Increased interest in promising rookies 

Pedro Neto: Predictions for the Future 

  • Consistency: Neto has struggled with his consistency, regularly going missing in games, but this is down to his age, and he should become more consistent with more exposure.
  • Form: despite flashes of brilliance, Neto has dipped in and out of form this season, although he has still been one of Wolves’ best players
  • Club Form: Along with Ruben Neves and Willy Boly, Neto could be said to have a hand in carrying this Wolves team this season, and they will need to turn things around if they want to hold on to his services.
  • Honors: Due to his age, Neto has not enjoyed many honors throughout his career, and unless Wolves kick on next season, he may need to make a move to win trophies
  • International Performance: Neto started his international career with a bang, scoring after just eight minutes in his sole appearance. As reigning European Champions, Portugal will want to defend their trophy in the summer, and Neto could be a useful (though not integral) part of this team

Summary 

At just 20 years old (although he turns 21 on the 9th), Neto has already shown promising signs of being a good if not exceptional footballer. When you look at how Wolves have not lived up to expectations this season and struggled to find consistency, Neto has been an occasional bright spark along the way. 

However, if he wants to take the next step and follow in compatriot Jota’s footsteps to make a big money move to a larger club, he will need to find ways to be more consistent. This will come with time, education, and game time.

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