Why Watford offering Joao Pedro a new deal would be the right move

According to claims from TEAMtalk (h/t Hertfordshire Live), Watford are planning to offer Brazilian striker Joao Pedro a new long-term deal. The teenager has caught the eye with a string of impressive displays in what has so far been a productive breakthrough campaign for the striker in the Championship. 

As per the report, Pedro’s exploits at Vicarage Road have attracted interest from Liverpool, as well as several other clubs in Spain and Germany. That has prompted Watford to consider tying him down to fresh terms, despite the 19-year-old already having several years remaining on his existing contract that runs until June 2025. 

Profile

Joao Pedro joined Fluminense’s youth system in 2011 and made rapid progress through the ranks, representing the club across various age-group levels. Back in October 2018, Watford reached an agreement to sign him on a 5-year contract in January 2020 even before he had made his senior debut for Fluminense.

The 19-year-old bagged 7 goals in 28 appearances for Fluminense in all competitions, earning rave reviews for his development in Brazil. After moving to Watford, Pedro made 5 substitute appearances in all competitions during the second half of the 2019-20 season as the Hornets suffered relegation from the Premier League.

derby county v watford sky bet championship
DERBY, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 16: Joao Pedro of Watford celebrates after scoring his sides first goal during the Sky Bet Championship match between Derby County and Watford at Pride Park Stadium on October 16, 2020, in Derby, England. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)

However, Pedro has established himself as a key player for Watford in the Championship this term, reaping the benefits of playing regularly under new manager Vladimir Ivic. The teenager opened his account by grabbing the winner in a 1-0 win over Luton Town in September and was once again the difference-maker in the Hornets’ 1-0 victory against Derby County.

The teenager’s latest goal came in Watford’s 4-1 demolition of Preston last weekend as Pedro took his tally up to 5 goals in 13 league starts for the Hornets.

Pedro deserves a new deal at Watford

There’s hardly a better way to acknowledge a player’s contribution to the club than by offering him a new contract and Joao Pedro definitely deserves recognition for his impressive progress over the past few months. 

The Championship can often be an unforgiving league for youngsters, given its gruelling physicality and hectic schedule. But Pedro has grabbed his opportunities with both hands and repaid manager Ivic’s faith in his abilities, scoring some important goals in tight fixtures to propel the Hornets to 7th in the league standings. 

watford v blackburn rovers sky bet championship scaled
WATFORD, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 21: Joao Pedro of Watford runs with the ball under pressure from Corry Evans of Blackburn Rovers during the Sky Bet Championship match between Watford and Blackburn Rovers at Vicarage Road on October 21, 2020, in Watford, England. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

That the 19-year-old has kept proven goalscorers in English football like Troy Deeney, Andre Gray and Glen Murray on the bench speaks volumes of the kind of impact he has made at Vicarage Road this season. 

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Verdict

Watford made a massive profit from the sale of Richarlison to Everton a couple of years back, having signed the Brazilian from Fluminense in 2017. Joao Pedro, who has already started to deliver on his potential at Vicarage Road, seems to a player in a mould similar to his senior compatriot.

Tying him down to fresh terms would therefore be a smart piece of business for the Hornets, with the teenager already attracting interest from other top clubs.

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