Opinion

The red flags Arsenal must consider when moving for Pedro Neto

Harry Symeou
Pedro Neto played 71 minutes for Wolves at Spurs on Saturday
Pedro Neto played 71 minutes for Wolves at Spurs on Saturday / James Williamson - AMA/GettyImages
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Arsenal have been strongly linked with signing a winger throughout the summer window and, seemingly, Wolves' Pedro Neto is the player Mikel Arteta and Edu have plonked at the top of their wish-list.

90min exclusively revealed on August 16 that intermediaries had make it known that Neto might be available for transfer, despite signing a new five-year deal in March, and that the Gunners, Chelsea and Manchester United had shown interest - with all three sides looking to boost their options on the right flank.

Super agent Jorge Mendes is the man orchestrating a potential move, though Wolves are yet to offer up any indication of whether they would actually want to sell the 22-year-old.

The question for Arsenal fans is, would Neto make for a good signing?

£72m club-record signing Nicolas Pepe appears to be on his way out on loan, with Nice offering to bring an end to his nightmare spell in north London, and it's long been thought that getting the Ivorian off the wage bill would be necessary for Arsenal for to bring in a new player.

Neto would likely be cheaper for one, but he also ticks a number of boxes for Arteta. He's left footed, comfortable with playing on either flank, and even centrally, and is used to playing in different systems under both Nuno Espirito Santo and Bruno Lage - offering the kind of tactical versatility that the Spaniard has spoken at length about wanting.


Scott SaundersGraeme Bailey,Toby Cudworth and Harry Symeou bring you Talking Transfers, discussing Antony attempting to push through a move to Man Utd, Frenkie de Jong and Pierre-Emerick Aubayemang's futures at Barcelona and Arsenal's interest in Pedro Neto. Available on all audio platforms and the 90min YouTube channel.

If you can't see the podcast embed, click here to download the episode in full!


There's also huge resale potential in Neto. A deal could cost in excess of £40m to complete, yes - judging by the amount received recently for Morgan-Gibbs White - but he's previously been tipped as a huge star of the future, and we know from Arsenal's rebuild and plan for self-sustainability that they want to sign players who will offer something to the club further down the line.

But while there are many positives to consider, there are also a number of red flags that stand out - ones that carry a level of risk that not everybody will feel comfortable with.

Neto suffered a serious knee injury back in April 2021 and it kept him sidelined until February 2022. If talks were to progress, thorough medical examinations would take place as is standard with any transfer but that will undoubtedly play on people's minds regardless of suggestions he's recovered well.

Perhaps more importantly is a conversation around Neto's output. For a player that's likely to cost Arsenal a fair chunk of money, is nine goals and 10 Premier League assists really enough to justify the outlay?

Football isn't all about numbers and statistics but it's hard to get away from that being what Neto is judged on most - retaining possession, opening up space and getting to the byline aren't those things.

He is, by all accounts, an excellent dribbler and his technical prowess is clear to see from his time at Wolves. Arteta, though, has called for greater 'firepower' to be added to his squad, and it feels like moving for the former Lazio man would be based on a belief in his potential, rather than anything he's delivered to date.


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