‘Next Messi’ to ‘Chani’ teammate? Signing to challenge for 4th consecutive PL title

Manchester City are looking to sign Hwang Hee-chan’s teammate Pedro Neto (Wolverhampton Wanderers). 

“Manchester City are interested in signing Pedro Neto,” said David Onstead of The Athletic on May 5 (KST).

Neto is a winger with quick feet who excels at dribbling straight into the box. He is also a “crack winger” in modern soccer, a player who can crack the opponent’s defense. He can play on both the left and right wings, making him a classic winger or inside forward.

Neto began his professional career with SC Braga in the Portuguese Primeira Liga. He then moved to Italian Serie A side SS Lazio in 2017, before joining Wolverhampton for €18 million ahead of the 2019-2020 season. 

In the 2019-2020 season, Neto scored three goals and three assists in 29 games in the English Premier League and two goals and two assists in 11 games in the UEFA Europa League (UEL). He thrived as a rotational option behind Adama Traore. 

In the 2020-2021 season, Neto established himself as a regular starter for Wolverhampton. With five goals and six assists in 31 league games, he had an Altoran-like performance. With Traore out of form and Raúl Jiménez suffering a skull injury, he was the only one of the strikers to flourish, earning him the nickname of Wolverhampton’s boy wonder.

Last season, however, he struggled with repeated injuries. This season, he has picked up his form and has one goal and seven assists in 11 games. A hamstring injury at the start of the season kept him out of the squad, but he recently made a comeback. 

Neto has recently attracted interest from big Premier League clubs. Arsenal FC are the most interested. The Gunners are looking for a right wing-forward to help complement Xherdan Shaqiri, and have set their sights on Neto, who has proven himself in the Premier League. Arsenal also tried to sign Neto in the winter transfer window of the 2021-2022 season.

Another team that could be interested is Man City, who won the ‘triple’ (Premier League, FA Cup, and UEFA Champions League) last season. “City have begun preparations to sign Neto,” according to Football Transfer. Onstein also said that City is one of the teams interested in signing Neto. 

City have been on a spending spree in the winter transfer window recently. They’ve confirmed the signing of Claudio Echeverría, dubbed the “next Messi,” but they don’t seem to be satisfied. They’re sitting in third place in the Premier League, so they’ll be looking to add Neto to their squad and challenge for a fourth straight PL title. 

If Neto were to join City, Pep Guardiola would likely look to replace Riyad Mahrez, who played for City until last season. Like Neto, Mahrez was a cracking winger whose strength was in his quick, straightforward dribbling runs. It’s likely that City are expecting Neto to play the role of Mahrez. 

Mahrez is a legend at City, having scored 78 goals and provided 56 assists in 236 appearances over five seasons. He was a perfect fit for Guardiola’s tactics, winning four Premier League titles, one UEFA Champions League, two FA Cups, one Carabao Cup, and two FA Community Shields. 

Of course, Neto won’t be leaving Wolverhampton straight away. Neto is reportedly not looking to switch clubs in the winter transfer window. ”I don’t think he’s going to change teams in the January transfer window,” Onsteins said.


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