Watford agreed a deal to sign Joao Pedro from Fluminense in October 2018 with the youngster enjoying some wonderful performances in the top flight of Brazilian football.
🇧🇷 | #watfordfc are delighted to have reached agreement with @FluminenseFC for the signing of João Pedro.
The exciting youngster's contract will commence in January 2020, once he has turned 18.
Details ⤵️https://t.co/6LjzsPWfk9 pic.twitter.com/jOnPP85uC2
— Watford Football Club (@WatfordFC) October 19, 2018
Who is he?
Pedro’s full name is Joao Pedro Junqueira de Jesus. He was born in Ribeirao Preto in Brazil on September 26, 2001 and has only ever played his football with Fluminense.
He’s just 17 years of age, but that’s not stopped him making his mark in the Brazilian league. In fact he’s been so impressive that Premier League scouts touted the youngster before he agreed his move to Hertfordshire.
Similarly to Richarlison, Pedro will join Watford as a rising young Brazilian star hoping the Premier League club will provide the perfect opportunity to get game-time at one of the toughest leagues in the world.
“I’m very happy all these things are happening to me. It has been bringing a lot of happiness to me, my family and friends that have been helping me since I’m a kid, when I was in Ribeirao Preto,” Pedro told Fox Sports Brasil (via Sky Sports News).
“I think every kid of my age wants big things, to play for big clubs in Europe, in the Champions League, become world champions with Brazilian side, win the Ballon d’Or. Keep working to see if I can reach all my goals.”
How does he play?
It’s not always fair to continuously draw comparisons between two young players, just because they happen to share similar positions and nationality, but in this case there are serious parallels between Richarlison and Joao Pedro to point out – especially when understanding what type of player the young Brazilian is.
Pedro plays as a forward with the ability to play out wide as well, making him incredibly versatile and able to fit into any formation Javi Gracia will want to adopt going forward.
He’s skilful and direct – not a ditherer on the ball – he’s all about running towards goal, taking players on and fashioning chances for himself and his teammates. He naturally pulls out wide to receive the ball making him very difficult to mark for centre-backs, and this trait will really suit Watford captain Troy Deeney whose movement tends to be more central, using his physique to keep the ball for his side.
Pedro will be able to use his movement to play off the Watford forward and provide width when players like Will Hughes and Roberto Pereyra drive inside.
2018-19 in numbers
Joao Pedro’s numbers are based off few appearances, but they’re incredibly impressive nonetheless.
The youngster made himself known for his incredible goal contribution from the minute he was handed his first-team debut, so it’s no surprise scouts from England came to watch one of the next big things in Brazil.
According to WhoScored, the Vicarage Road-bound forward has played 10 games this season, scoring eight times in that run. The youngster boasts a 77.3% pass completion rate as well, which won’t be surprising considering the nature of his style of play.
Are Watford the most likely club to break the top 7 next season? The fans in the video below certainly agree the ‘W’ part in the statement is correct…
Anyone else enjoyed a similar path?
Kenedy. The Brazilian moved from Fluminense to Chelsea in 2015 and despite originally struggling in English football he’s gone on to impress at Newcastle United during two loan spells, making 28 appearances in all competitions last term. He enjoyed time on loan at Watford himself as well, the club where Pedro will soon end up.
When will we see him?
Pedro won’t join Watford until January 2020 when the Brazilian Serie A season ends, similar to Gabriel Jesus’ agreed move to Manchester City. He’ll be 18 when he arrives, so it will be interesting to see whether he’ll be exposed to first-team action immediately upon his arrival, or whether he’ll be bedded into the club in the months before the Premier League recommences once again in August 2020.