Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has earmarked Wolves winger Pedro Neto as his leading priority for the summer transfer window, but Manchester City’s interest in the 23-year-old has forced the Gunners to look at contingency options.
FootballTransfers has exclusively revealed that Neto tops Arsenal’s summer transfer shortlist, having long impressed the Gunners boss.
But Manchester City are plotting a move for the Portugal international, with manager Pep Guardiola having employed Bernardo Silva to act as an agent in his club’s favour. This was a tactic that Pep used successfully to lure Jeremy Doku from Rennes last summer.
Given the draw that City boast, both in terms of their title-winning appeal and the financial package that they can offer, Arsenal will have their work cut out to beat the Premier League champions to the player.
But could Guardiola, in fact, be doing Arsenal a favour by forcing the Emirates to pursue another target?
Neto or Nico Williams?
According to The Mirror, Arsenal are looking at Nico Williams as one of their alternatives to Neto.
Data analytics experts SciSports believes that Nico is a superior player to Pedro Neto and crucially has a higher ceiling than the Portugal star.
What is most exciting about the firm’s projection is that Williams could reach the levels that Bukayo Saka is presently at. The England international, meanwhile, is expected to continue to grow and become one of the best players in the world.
But while Nico Williams may be the better player, is he the best option for Arsenal?
SciSports’ Career Advice tool shows that the Gunners only have a Club Fit score of 58 for the Spain star. In terms of playing time, playing style and formation, the Emirates side are a weak fit for the youngster.
Neto more readily slots into the Arsenal squad, though perhaps not decisively so. There are still doubts over his playing time at the club, but given that he is still getting back to his best after a long period out injured, this might not be the worst scenario for him. Still, a Club Fit score of 64 is not great.
Arteta knows that he wants a winger to support Saka, but does he want the better player who is a worse fit for his squad or the weaker option who might fit his plans better? He still has months to decide.