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        Just 17, Brazilian may be hotter talent than Richarlison

        How good is Watford prospect João Pedro?

        2019/07/10 13:40
        By Stephen Gillett
        E0

        Watford struck gold when they recruited Richarlison from Brazilian club Fluminense in 2017 - and the form of teenage whizzkid João Pedro suggests they've pulled off the same trick twice. 

        The canny Hornets agreed an initial €2.5m deal for the exciting forward in 2018, when he was just 16-years-old, even though the young talent will have to wait until 2020 before he can actually move to Vicarage Road. The final fee, which is linked to how many games João Pedro plays for Fluminense in the meantime, is likely to rise to around €10million.

        Since putting pen to paper for the Hornets, João Pedro has scored 9 goals in 16 games for Fluminense - including a hat-trick on his first start - to send scouts from the likes of Barcelona, Manchester City and Liverpool flocking to watch him (please note, Fluminense are well stocked with talented Pedros: another of their youngsters - 22-year-old Pedro - was linked with Real Madrid last year). 

        Although unlikely, there are rumours that João Pedro could potentially end up not even joining Watford due to a 'breach clause' in his contract, that could see the Hornets stake in the player bought out for £20million.

        The prospect of João Pedro eclipsing the impact made by Richarlison must be a mouthwatering one for Hornets fans. After joining Watford for £11.5million, Richarlison's pace and athleticism were a potent string to the Hornets' bow during his season at Vicarage Road - and he boosted their bank balance when the Brazilian followed Marco Silva to Everton for £50million last summer. Richarlison's upward curve was further evidenced by Brazil's recent Copa America triumph, which saw the 22-year-old score in the final against Peru. If João Pedro can outstrip Richarlison's recent exploits, it will be very good going. 

        Playmaker caught up with Brazilian football expert Eduardo Massa, who writes for the website oGol, to get the lowdown on this exciting talent. 

        Richarlison has gone on to great success - is João Pedro an even better prospect? 

        The simple answer is 'Yes', but there are greater risks involved too. When Richarlison signed for Watford, he was 20-years-old and had been a professional for three years, so everyone knew what to expect from him. He was ready to make an impact at Watford, and had the obvious potential to develop further. João Pedro has taken huge strides very early in his career, and although his sheer potential is greater than Richarlison's, he is only 17 and it is difficult to predict just how good he will be at this stage. 

        What are João Pedro's best qualities?

        João Pedro was initially used more as a wide attacking player and, although he had obvious ability, he wasn't considered to be a really special talent. When he was moved to a more central position, as a striker, everything changed. He has proved to be a natural goalscorer and his greatest strength appears to be his ability to make quick decisions in the area: he always seems to find the most effective solution to situations whether it be using his right foot, left foot, head or even, as has been the case, bicycle kicks. He has scored practically every type of goal in his early career as a professional. 

        What areas of his game need development?

        Naturally, given that we are talking about a 17-year-old, he needs to develop physically. He is understandably quite raw and obviously learning his trade. 

        Do you expect the transfer to Watford to go through in January...or do you think his 'breach clause' will be activated?

        João Pedro seems a grounded young player, with the right people around him. He has said that he intends to honour the contract with Watford; he knows that he has to grow step-by-step and that Watford was a good move for Richarlison. I also think that the big clubs linked with him, like Barcelona and Manchester City, will prefer to monitor how he adapts in England. 

         

        Brazil
        Richarlison
        NameRicharlison de Andrade
        Born1997-05-10(22 -yrs-old)
        Nationality
        Brazil
        Brazil
        PositionForward (Left Wing) / Forward (Right Wing)

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