Wolves: Nuno Santo's Diogo Jota replacement has always been right under their nose

Diogo Jota

When Diogo Jota left Wolves this summer there were few complaints from the Molineux faithful.

Once all was said and done, they were losing a player for a huge amount of money - £41m in fact. 

Furthermore, the tricky Portuguese forward had found himself just a bit-part of their squad in the final month or so of last season.

Jota scored just once in his final ten league outings for Nuno Santo's men and was used as a substitute in three of his last six matches.

This was not a player who looked as though he'd cost £41m. That was until he stepped foot at Anfield.

The 23-year-old has suddenly become one of the most fearsome attackers in England, scoring goal after goal for his new side and taking the overall quality of his game to a brand new level.

Since signing for Liverpool, Jota has scored seven goals in just 11 games, a tally that also includes a brilliant hat-trick against Atalanta in the Champions League.

Diogo Jota

With Jota in frighteningly good form, Wolves would have every reason to be regretting their sale.

However, fear not, for Nuno's side already have a ready-made replacement right in front of them.

After selling Jota, they brought in wonderkid Fabio Silva for a club-record fee of £35.6m but he has been short of game time so far. The Portuguese youngster netted twice in the rather amusingly named Papa John's trophy this week but he is not the player in question.

Instead, we want to talk about Pedro Neto, a forward who has to go down as one of the most underrated in the top-flight. He is diminutive in size, but just like Jota, has immense talent and an eye-catching amount of potential. 

Pedro Neto

Signed for a combined fee alongside Bruno Jordao of £18m, he didn't cost a great deal, but after a year at the club he is now quickly becoming of Wolves' most important figures.

In 2020/21, Neto has just one Premier League goal from eight matches but has also registered two assists. Most impressive, though, is the fact that he scored on his Portugal debut this month after receiving a rather surprising call-up.

That, however, was a fine reward for a player who is improving all the time.

He has amassed 1.9 key passes per game, as well as producing 1.6 shots a match. That represents mightily impressive consistency for a player who also does his bit defensively - making 1.8 interceptions each outing too. 

The good thing about Jota leaving is that Neto has been able to emerge from his fellow countryman's shadow, improving tenfold on the numbers he produced last term.

Pedro Neto comparison stats

Only last season, Braga U23 coach Jose Carvalho Araujo hailed the 20-year-old's qualities:

"He was remarkable even at that time (age 13). He had these amazing skills and this amazing physically capacity when he was attacking. He wasn't so good defensively but he was two years younger than everyone else and he was clearly the star of the team." 

Neto is currently rated at just £19.8m but it wouldn't be a great surprise if he soon follows in the footsteps of Jota, both in terms of performances and transfer fee.

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