Speaking to GIVEMESPORT this week, the Eurosport journalist revealed:
“If they decide to stay in the Premier League, I think Pedro Neto could be one to look out for.
“There have been some enquiries made along that path and I think that’s one that might get talked about a little bit more in the next week or so.”
Indeed, the Gunners have held a long-term interest in the Portuguese winger, according to the Daily Express, and their search for wide additions could now take them to the Midlands, having missed out on Raphinha to Barcelona.
With the north London giants looking to bolster Mikel Arteta’s squad with another wide man, it could be club-record signing Nicolas Pepe in serious danger of falling further down the pecking order.
The £72m man has been something of a flop since his arrival from Lille in 2019. The 27-year-old has scored 27 goals and provided 21 assists in 112 appearances for the club but was restricted to only 681 minutes in the Premier League last season, as per Transfermarkt.
One performance against Newcastle United last season saw GOAL journalist Charles Watts lambast him as an “utter disaster” and also claimed that it “could well be his final game in an Arsenal shirt.”
According to the Daily Mail last month, the Gunners are prepared to cut their losses on the Ivory Coast international this summer, with Sevilla, Lyon, Marseille and Leeds United said to be monitoring Pepe’s situation.
Neto would be something of an elite upgrade, should he be available. Some reports suggest that the Wolves star would cost in the region of £50m.
In 2020/21, Neto tore Arsenal apart in both fixtures, scoring at the Emirates Stadium and assisting a goal back at Molineux in a pair of 2-1 victories. Those were just two of his 11 goal contributions that season, as per Transfermarkt.
Despite his lack of minutes in the past year, the Portugal international still compares favourably to fellow wingers across Europe.
As per FBref, who liken his statistical profile to that of Bukayo Saka, the wide man ranks inside the top 6% for total shots (3.24 per 90), the top 9% for progressive passes received (8.74 per 90), the top 12% for progressive carries (8.58 per 90), and the top 13% for shot-creating actions (4.53 per 90).
All of which highlights his ability to get on the ball to cause a threat in the final third. Neto is capable of playing on both flanks, as well as through the middle, so perhaps it’s no surprise to see such impressive numbers as he’s firing off plenty of shots and receiving the ball in the right areas to do damage.
Something that cannot be said for Pepe.
Neto has received plenty of praise for his form and ability in England, ranging from former Premier League marksman Alan Shearer deeming him to be a “huge talent” to Sky Sports pundit and commentator Jamie Carragher lauding him as a “superstar.”
As such, technical director Edu Gaspar and his recruitment staff must look to get this deal over the line before deadline day on September 1st. It’s clear that Neto would be an outstanding acquisition in north London and one that could finally push Pepe closer to the exit door.
AND in other news, Fabrizio Romano reveals what Arsenal could now do in August…