TugaScout is an English-language site reporting on matters associated with Portuguese football by freelance writer Alex Goncalves, offering the latest news, reviews and opinions surrounding the Portuguese League and the Seleção players based abroad.

Wolves complete signing of Lazio pair Pedro Neto and Bruno Jordao

Wolves complete signing of Lazio pair Pedro Neto and Bruno Jordao

Wolves have completed the signing of Portuguese duo Pedro Neto, 19, and Bruno Jordao, 20, from Lazio for a fee in the region of £18million.

Both players joined Lazio initially on loan from Portuguese outfit Braga in 2017, when they were just 17 and 18 years of age respectively, and eventually cost a total of 26 million euros for the Serie A side, a huge sum of money for two players who only played a combined 129 minutes of league football for the Italian giants in their two years at the club.

It was seen as a rather strange move at the time, greeted with some scepticism as two very young players who were largely unheard of outside Portugal made their way to Italy for significant fees, and it was clear from the onset that there was one man who was heavily involved in these deals - Jorge Mendes.

Indeed, both Neto and Jordao were taken from Braga to Lazio with the help of superagent Jorge Mendes, who also benefited financially from the deals, and therefore seeing the duo move on again, this time to Wolverhampton Wanderers who are managed by Mendes’ first ever client Nuno Espirito Santo and boast a wealth of Gestifute players, is highly unsurprising.

Neto had come very close to joining Benfica earlier this window for a fee in the region of 17 million euros, the 8-time Portugal U20 international having been widely expected to return to Portuguese football with the help of Jorge Mendes yet again.

That move never materialised though, while a potential transfer to Monaco, another club Jorge Mendes has close ties to, also fell through, opening up the door for Mendes to ferry them off to Wolves.

The players

Pedro Neto, now 19, was by far the more expensive addition for Lazio, having joined for a total of 17 million, a huge sum of money for a player that had only played a total 54 minutes of senior football for Braga across 3 league matches.

He did score on his debut for Braga, though, when just 17 years and two months old back in May 2017 as part of a 4-0 victory over Nacional, and therefore made a name for himself very early on for his career.

However, the teenage winger ultimately failed to make a significant impact at Lazio, and only went on to play in 5 senior matches for Lazio over two years.

Four of those matches came in Serie A, while the other was in the Coppa Italia in a clash with Novara that Lazio went on to win 4-1. All added together, he played just 85 minutes of senior football over the 24 months he spent in Italy.

Nevertheless, there are very high hopes for the winger, who has shown great promise early on in his career, and has a long time to fulfil his vast potential.

He was even attracting interest from the likes of Manchester United and Barcelona before he eventually moved to Lazio, which is a good illustration of how gifted a player he really is.

Able to play on either flank or up front, Neto is a versatile player who has shown great capabilities when on the ball, a technically gifted player who is comfortable with the ball at his feet and running at the opposition backline.

A hard-working player, Neto’s skill and determination is often on show, happy to pick the ball up from a deeper position and take on his opponents with quick footwork and pace, while he can also cut inside and take on a shot from the edge of the box.

He is therefore a very entertaining player to watch, and with time on his side, he could prove to be an excellent acquisition for Wolves.

Jordao, meanwhile, is now 20 years of age, and while he perhaps isn’t quite as highly regarded as his compatriot, has also shown himself to be a talented footballer. A central midfielder, Jordao is also a technically gifted footballer, calm and composed on the ball and happy to carry the ball forwards before laying it off an opponent.

He has also shown to have good movement, able to contribute to the attack with his good link-up play, and has also shown himself to have great passing range and ability, able to spray the ball around the field and play some well-placed through balls to get his teammates into the game in the attacking third of the pitch.

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