Pedro Neto is the winger Arsenal need next season

If Arsenal want to buy a Wolves player, it should be Pedro Neto and not Ruben Neves

There was one clear element that was missing in the current Arsenal squad, which finished roughly around mid-table in the Premier League. Slow build-up play.

Mikel Arteta’s tactics were branded as too pedestrian as the Gunners looked like a team who only played sideways, barely threatening their opponents. The emergence of Emile Smith Rowe in the first team and then the signing of Martin Odegaard helped the squad in being more unpredictable.

It is clear that Arsenal need more “direct” players who can carry the team forward when the majority of the players are sitting in a low block. Bukayo Saka and Smith Rowe have done that job exceptionally well. But same cannot be said of their other teammates.

While Pierre Emerick Aubameyang is a player who tends to be involved only in the end product, Nicolas Pepe’s failure to beat his own man countless times have hurt the London side massively.
A rock-solid defense needs two things to function well: compactness, and the quantity of players inside their own half. While Arsenal have achieved both since Mikel Arteta took over, they have failed to come up with inventive ideas while turning defense into attack in a flash.

Although they have the perfect player on the right-wing in the form of Saka, they need an upgrade on Gabriel Martinelli on the left flank. He cannot be expected to play the whole 38 league matches and that’s why a decent option who can fight it out with the Brazilian makes sense.

This is where Pedro Neto enters the frame. The Portuguese is one of the better wingers in his age bracket, who are currently plying their trade in Europe.

Only four players (21 or below) better him when it comes to dribbling statistics.

The 21-year-old has 20 goal involvements in 79 appearances for The Wanderers. Wolves have benefitted hugely from a player who can create something ‘on his own.’ And that cannot be said of many Arsenal wingers.

His Progressive Carries, Carries into Final Third and Carries into Penalty Area are all at an exceptional figure of 9.64, 3.18 and 1.91 respectively per 90 minutes. Those are superior numbers than Saka’s 7.26/1.90/1.30 and Nicolas Pepe’s 5.90/1/1.73.

Manchester City’s Ruben Dias compared his countryman’s dribbling to all-time great Cristiano Ronaldo by saying, “Again I need to say Cristiano (Ronaldo). The time he was here he was definitely great, he got the Ballon D’Or, but I have to say (Pedro) Neto as well.”

The fact that the Arsenal supporters were drooling over Calum Chambers’ crosses in the second half of the campaign shows a clear sign of weakness in the squad. The Wolves’ man Crosses into Penalty Area is also way superior than Arsenal’s famous quartet of Saka, Pepe, Chambers and Kieran Tierney.

There are no question marks as to whether the North London outfit can massively benefit from Neto’s crossing. The club has been linked to various names in the market. Bringing in a striker who has a good-aerial presence can give Arsenal a different edge than Aubameyang over their opponents.

The former Braga player’s Key Passes, Switches, Shot Creating Actions are also at an admirable 2.12/2.01/3.92.

His defensive side of the game is what needs tending. But at 21, the ceiling for improvement is pretty high. Neto has already been touted as a Jadon Sancho alternative, if Manchester United fail to land their number one choice.

That automatically tells us a lot about Pedro Neto. The “next big thing” in Europe.

Yash Bisht

Tags Neto

15 Comments

  1. Adajim says:

    I think given enough chance Martinelli could do well , besides Pepe, Saka, Auba and Willian can do a good job there, our wingers just need more run off the ball into spaces

    1. MartinelliTheBench says:

      There is no space behind the majority of teams we play. We are way too slow in getting the ball from defence to attack so teams just sit deep and compact. If were fast through the midfield and didn’t hold so much pointless possession in the final third it may be different.

      Watch any of our games and it’s crystal clear.

      1. Adajim says:

        I believe it’s the inefficient of our attack that make it difficult for us to perform well against low block tactics. If attackers keep running into space, more defenders will be drafted out of position creating more spaces for midfielder to shoot or pas to but because our attackers are rigid, spaces are tight no proper space to pass into this make the midfielder pass sideways and backwards, although the quality of our midfielders are questionable and we properly need an upgrade, still our attackers movement off the ball are not enough

  2. Prof.Wenger says:

    We need a playmaker and an RB player. Also, LB as a substitute for Teirney.

  3. Vinnie2000 says:

    “Pepe’s inability to beat his man has hurt us severally’
    Yet, Many in his site rate him so highly Bcos he scored 4 goals against C.Palace n Brighton!!
    I pray he proves me wrong next season!!

  4. Joe Allysons says:

    I do think we need to bring in a left winger, but I’m of the view Raheem Sterling would benefit us the most.

    I also think fans need to understand that players don’t need to be able to run fast or turn fast to move the ball fast.

    compare our build up in the first part of the season to that in the second part. In the first part, it was very common for a central midfielder to play a ball into the feet of someone in the half space between the opponents CB and CDM, then have the ball instantly played back to him. Most of the time, we had Laca dropping into that space, but no one spinning off him to use the space behind him. The result was a 1-2 back into the middle followed by a pass to the wing.

    The introduction of attacking midfielders that had some confidence meant the ball was spending a lot more time IN front of the opponents box, but that’s just part of the job. The other part of the job is how the wingers are moving. It became more common that a winger would try and run the line between a full back and his centerback creating passing angles. Now we just need to do that with a winger that actually presents a goal threat. I feel like with Pepe on one side, having an equivalently lethal one on the left would create more space for a number 10.

    Follow that up with some dribbling ability and I think our goals and fouls drawn should increase.

    1. speedy says:

      hey joe i think we score a couple from laca dropping deep remember westbrom, southhamton, and newcastle this are ones i can remember for now. Auba is poor in this aspect but when ever he does it perfectly(which is rare) he is always at the end of the move to finsh( i think the benfica game ) but laca lets the midfielders pass him which helps a lot. Neto is a fine talent but not what we need now.

    2. ozziegunner says:

      The ball (a good pass) will beat the man (with ball at feet) every time.

  5. Grandad says:

    I believe Man City are interested in Neto who is a real talent.

  6. gunner17 says:

    why noy doku?

  7. MrLucky says:

    I think we need someone who is good in the small spaces. A more technical winger who can run at the defender, but also can unlock defences with quick passes or one-two play.

    OT: Dutch media reporting we will sign Onana regardless of the outcome of his appeal. It will be €6-9m if he remains banned, and €2m if he wins his appeal. NOS is mostly spot on regarding Ajax news..

    1. Dhoni says:

      Seems u interchanged it it’s rather €6-9M if the ban is reduced and 2M if ban is sustained without any reduction and again it’s not a done deal like ur saying it. We are going to rather have our first signing to be Matt Ryan on a free after the David Raya deal was scrapped and his coming in as a backup keeper. From the look of things Leno will still be here as no. 1 so Onana transfer will only happen when there’s a twist of unexpected event.

  8. daniel twist says:

    If we can get Neto, we get him…that’s a no-brainer, an immense talent; quick, rugged, can handle the physicality of the PL, and only 20 or 21 yrs old,,,,I’ll swap him for Pepe every day of the week.

  9. dotash says:

    Neto is better than all our winger put together, l am not slating our wingers but that is the truth. Why can’t we have Grealish too, we done need to go outside England to assemble a winning team. Edu and Artetar should open their eyes and do the needful.

  10. ozziegunner says:

    Apparently there is a young 21 yo attacking midfielder at Newcastle United, who takes the ball from deep interceptions and runs at defenses, scoring 8 goals in 8 matches. Maybe Arsenal scouts should have a look at him, to see what he will cost? What’s that you say, he is an Arsenal player on loan?

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