When Wolves agreed to sell Portuguese winger Diogo Jota to Liverpool in the summer, questions were immediately raised about who could replace him.
Fans wondered if someone would be brought in, while media questioned the decision to sell him without already having a replacement brought in prior to letting him go.
When the lineup was announced for the opening game of the season a front three of Daniel Podence, Raul Jimenez and Pedro Neto was announced – with Adama Traore at wing-back. Wolves were showing that they had options and they won the game 2-0 pretty comfortably, with the entire front three getting involved in the goals.
As the season has progressed the two wingers in that game have gone on to cement their place in the side, keeping Traore out of the side for the most part with summer signing Nelson Semedo coming in at wing-back.
Neto has shown a lot of the same attributes that Jota was showing during his time at the club too. He’s electric in possession, direct, skilful and has an eye for goal. He also has boundless energy and is willing to work back for the team.
What makes it even better though, is that he’s only 20.
He’s got four goals for Wolves this season with strikes against Fulham, Southampton, Arsenal and Chelsea while also getting two assists too. His international debut led to a first goal for Portugal also, a fine strike in the win over Andorra.
Plenty of clubs will be keeping an eye on his development over the next 12-18 months and if he continues his rapid rise in the Premier League then don’t be surprised to see the big boys make a move.
For Neto though, he shouldn’t be thinking about the next step just yet.
Focus on playing regularly, developing and learning. This run of form won’t last forever, it never does. Young players are supposed to be inconsistent and Nuno Espirito Santo has acknowledged that in the past.
What’s important is how Neto reacts to an eventual run of form where things aren’t quite going his way or he isn’t getting the rub of the green. That will tell an awful lot about his mentality, which is just as important as his ability at the top level.
Wolves have got themselves another Portuguese gem on the wing. Keep an eye on him, because he looks likely to deliver just like the last Portuguese winger they had did.