How Wolves' Pedro Neto compares to Lionel Messi

Wolves forward Pedro Neto in action

In August 2019, Wolves signed a teenage winger by the name of Pedro Neto from Serie A side Lazio.

At the time, it seemed like somewhat of a gamble. The youngster had only made five senior appearances for Lazio during his two-year stay at the club. Nevertheless, Wolves were happy to hand over £16.1m to secure his services. They had clearly seen something that they liked.

Now in his second season at Molineux, Neto has shown why Wolves wanted to bring him over to the Premier League. His performances have seen him linked with one of the biggest clubs in Europe, Manchester United.

What has the £50,000-a-week player done to warrant such interest? Here, GIVEMESPORT's Sam Brookes takes a detailed look...

The stat that is comparable to Messi

Who should we compare Neto to? How about arguably the best player in the world?

That's right, Lionel Messi has terrorised defences for 15 years and won almost every trophy available to him during this time.

Yet in 2020/21, Neto has kept pace with him in one particular category - creating chances.

According to WhoScored, Neto has made 57 key passes in the Premier League this term, making him Wolves' chief creator.

And it is not just amongst his own teammates that Neto stands out. Messi, who has been involved in a goal in each of his last 13 top-flight matches, has created just one more chance than Neto in La Liga.

This mind-boggling statistic shows just how good Neto has been this year.

Is Neto a match-winner?

Neto has scored five league goals across the course of the campaign. Admittedly, he does not stack up well next to Messi on this one - the Argentine icon has 23 in La Liga.

Yet Neto picks his moments to find the net. Back in October, he scored the only goal in a home match against Fulham to hand Nuno Espirito Santo's side a narrow victory.

That would not be his final match-winning contribution. Two months later, he netted the winner in the dying seconds of added time to see off Frank Lampard's Chelsea, and he went on to score the decisive goal in a 2-1 win over Southampton in February as well.

Wolves have struggled for goals this season, scoring just 28 times in the Premier League - only four teams have scored fewer.

When they have needed someone to step up, Neto has invariably been the player they have turned to. Fittingly, he's their joint-top scorer in the Premier League. 

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Is Neto ready to make an impact at United?

You'd better believe it. He scores goals, and creates chances at will. United have struggled to break down the 'big six' teams this season. 

By bringing in Neto, they will have a forward who is almost as good at unlocking defences as Messi. That should be all the encouragement they need to get Neto over to Old Trafford.

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