Reported Liverpool and Watford target Joao Pedro could be the new Roque Santa Cruz. At least, that is according to esteemed South American expert Tim Vickery.
Both Premier League clubs have been heavily linked with the latest wonder kid to emerge from Brazilian football with Sky Sports claiming that Watford are confident of getting a deal done, having agreed terms over a £2 million transfer fee with Pedro’s current club Fluminense.
But whoever wins the race will sign a striker who has eight goals in just 11 senior appearances – including a perfect hat-trick against Atletico Nacional in the Copa Sudamerica last week.
And Vickery sees a glimpse of former Bayern Munich, Manchester City and Blackburn striker Santa Cruz in Pedro.
“He has gone, in the space of ten days, not even a household name in his own home to now being the star that everyone wants to see,” Vickery told Sky.
“As a player, he reminds me a little bit of a young Roque Santa Cruz. Similar frame. Joao Pedro is perhaps a little more sinuous but a similar lanky frame, pace, two-footed.
“We have to pay tribute to the Watford scouting network (who also signed Richarlison from Fluminense in 2017).”
Injuries might have prevented Santa Cruz from fulfilling his huge potential but he was still a fine goal-scorer in his prime, netting 19 in a superb 2007/08 Premier League season at Blackburn Rovers.
It remains to be seen whether Joao Pedro can make the same impact in England.
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