João Pedro: Have Watford Signed The Next Richarlison?

João Pedro
Watford fans show support for their team in the stands during the Premier League match at Vicarage Road, Watford (Photo by Steven Paston/PA Images via Getty Images)

Watford FC recently announced the future signing of highly rated Brazilian 17-year-old, João Pedro. Pedro plays for Fluminense in his native Brazil, scoring 31 goals for the clubs’ Under-17s team this year.

Who is João Pedro?

A number of clubs were reportedly interested in the youngster’s services with Watford, who have been a Premier League club since 2015, agreeing a fee for João.

However, Hornets fans won’t be able to see their new star playing at Vicarage Road until January 2020, with rules restricting the sale of players under the age of 18.

Could the Wait Help Pedro Develop?

Pedro’s contract with Watford will commence on January 1, 2020, meaning it will be over a year before he will begin life in England. But, despite the long wait, could this be a good thing for Hertfordshire club?

Well, as mentioned, Pedro has been very prolific at youth level for Fluminense, but he hasn’t even made his senior debut yet. Gaining first-team experience with his current club could be vital for him in succeeding in England.

With over a year to go, he should have plenty of time to break into the first-squad and leave South America on a high note.

What Does Pedro Think?

Since the announcement of the transfer, João Pedro has opened up about his move to England’s top tier.

Speaking to Brazilian news publication Globo Esporte, João said,

“At the moment I’m happy with my head at Fluminense. Until leaving I want to evolve and become a champion here. But my dream has always been to play in the Premier League. It’s the result of my work. I’m happy. I’ve been working hard to get attention and get to the national team.”

As for Watford manager Javi Gracia, he says that his club have invested in the future with this signing.

The Next Richarlison?

This move may seem a little like Deja Vu for Watford fans. In August 2017, the Hornets signed another promising Brazilian talent from Fluminense, Richarlison. In the interview, Pedro mentioned that he received advice from his Brazilian counterpart,

“We play a bit similar, in the style of strength and speed. I’m happy he’s in the national team. I contacted him on Instagram and asked for some advice. He advised me, told me to keep working hard because i am going to be the best in the world.”

Richarlison took the Premier League by storm during his first months at Watford, under then-manager Marco Silva. It wasn’t so smooth sailing after Silva’s departure in January 2018 however, with the winger failing to recover his form from the earlier stages of the season.

But that didn’t stop fellow Premier League side Everton paying a reported £40 million in July, which saw him reunite with his former boss, Silva. This was a big risk from the Liverpool outfit, but three months into his life at Goodison Park, it looks to be paying off.

He has scored four goals from seven league matches this season and has also made his first four appearances for the Brazilian national team, finding the net twice.

Only time will tell whether João Pedro can emulate Richarlison’s success in England. He is just one of many Brazilian wonderkids breaking on to the scene, with Barcelona’s Malcom, Real Madrid’s Vinicius Jr. and Manchester City’s Gabriel Jesus also making headlines for themselves.

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