There was much confusion in October 2018 when Watford announced that they would be bringing in a young Brazilian by the name of Joao Pedro in January 2020.
Pedro, a 17-year-old at the time hadn’t even made a senior appearance for Fluminense when Watford tied him down, but in April 2019 he made his league debut for them, which is when Hornets fans were finally able to see what kind of talent was coming to them.
Pedro finished his only full season in the Brazilian top flight with four goals in 24 games, but playing most of that campaign at the age of just 17, Pedro showed that he had a lot of talent, and he subsequently joined up with Watford in January last year after securing his work permit.
Let’s look at Pedro’s time at Vicarage Road so far and what’s next for the dynamic South American talent.
How’s it gone so far?
Watford fans would need patience with Pedro, being a teenager moving across the world to another team would not have been easy for him and the club were in no rush to give him minutes.
Pedro made his first appearance from the bench in a Premier League clash with Southampton back in June, but after a summer where several key figures left the Hornets following relegation, Pedro was thrust into a starting position by Vladimir Ivic.
He’s played 22 games in the Championship so far this season, often partnering Ismaila Sarr in the early part of the season, and he’s scored six goals for Watford in the league, the best of which came against Derby County live on Sky.
Deeney? Sarr? – Can you name which Watford player scored each these 15 goals this season?
What issues does he face?
Pedro has yet to find the back of the net under new Watford boss Xisco Munoz, but the team in general just don’t look very prolific.
Starting just two out of five of Xisco’s matches in charge, Pedro clearly needs to create more scoring opportunities if the new man in charge is to make him a regular starter.
A combination of Troy Deeney and Andre Grey – two experienced Championship players – have been preferred in the other three matches, but those games have only yielded one Watford goal, and Pedro hasn’t managed to change anything coming off the substitutes bench.
Pedro clearly has a lot of talent, but he will need to win the trust of Xisco if he is to regain his spot as a regular starter.
More starts and more goals hopefully, as Pedro is too talented to be on the bench.
Munoz has talked about tweaking his system from the 4-4-2 he has initially used, and that could see Pedro playing off the left-wing and cutting inside onto his right as he, Ismaila Sarr and an attacking midfielder of the manager’s choosing support Troy Deeney in attack.
It’s a role that Pedro could probably excel in considering his goal against Derby came from a similar area, and it will be interesting to see if Xisco experiments in the coming weeks as Watford continue to struggle for a regular supply of goals.