By Michael Hincks
Joao Pedro: The Watford-bound striker on a hot streak for Fluminense
Last Updated: 29/05/19 1:41pm
Watford to make a 1,000 per cent profit on a player not yet at their club? It could happen…
Joao Pedro is set to join Watford in January 2020, but the 17-year-old's form for Fluminense is reportedly turning heads elsewhere.
🇧🇷 | #watfordfc are delighted to have reached agreement with @FluminenseFC for the signing of João Pedro.— Watford Football Club (@WatfordFC) October 19, 2018
The exciting youngster's contract will commence in January 2020, once he has turned 18.
Details ⤵️https://t.co/6LjzsPWfk9 pic.twitter.com/jOnPP85uC2
Liverpool have made enquires over Pedro, the Daily Mail reports, but there is a catch should Jurgen Klopp want to bring the teenager in to bolster his forward line.
Watford have agreed a £2m fee for Pedro, but a clause in the contract reportedly states the club must be paid £20m should another team look to sign him.
However, Sky Sports News understands Watford are confident a deal is in place, and that they would be surprised if there was a way for another club to come in and sign the player.
So what has caused this interest in Pedro? Goals, and plenty of them…
Seven goals in four games
Pedro's hot streak began on May 16, when he came off the bench to score an injury-time equaliser at home to Cruzeiro in the Brazilian Cup last-16 first leg.
Two days later, he was at it again, scoring twice as a substitute as Fluminense beat Cruzeiro 4-1 in the league.
Understandably, this warranted a start, and Pedro took his opportunity in style, scoring a first-half hat-trick in their 4-1 Copa Sudamericana second-round first-leg victory over Atletico Nacional.
Liverpool scout Dassler Marques reportedly watched on as Pedro scored his first professional hat-trick, and the run did not stop there, as he found the target again in Fluminense's 3-2 league defeat at Bahia on Monday.
"I'm very happy all these things are happening to me. It has been bringing a lot of happiness to me, my family and friends that have been helping me since I'm a kid, when I was in Ribeirao Preto (his hometown)," Pedro told Fox Sports Brasil.
"It's quite difficult for me to balance English classes and the championships, but every time I have a free time, I try to study, so in the future I can speak English.
"It's a very good experience, everything has been happening very fast, and in the academy I've always been giving my best, always trying to score, and I think with the coach's help from the youth teams of insisting in this thought of always trying to score, this has been my focus, and thank God it's happening."
Chasing a dream
Pedro has his sights set on glory in Europe and with Brazil on the international stage, but he will not forget his roots.
"I think every kid of my age wants big things, to play for big clubs in Europe, in the Champions League, become world champions with Brazilian side, win the Ballon D'Or. Keep working to see if I can reach all my goals.
"There was a time in the academy, when me and my mum had been going through difficult times. We didn't have money at the time, I had one pair of trousers, one pair of trainers to go to training and to school, or to go out.
"My mum could only afford to eat one egg every day and would leave the only piece of meat for me, and I was asking myself about what I was doing with my life, far from my family, my friends. But she would be there, supporting me, saying everything would be fine, that the important thing is that I had what I needed to eat, and I should make this time worth it on the pitch.
"All the time I get on the pitch, or I score a goal, I kiss my tattoos [one for his mum, another for his nan]. I didn't give up because of them."
Following in Richarlison's footsteps?
Whether a club come in to poach Pedro from Watford remains to be seen, but should he move to Vicarage Road in January, he would be mirroring the movements of Richarlison two years ago.
Richarlison spent two years at Fluminense before joining Watford in the summer of 2017 for a fee of £13m, but he was only at the club for one season, moving to Everton for £40m to link up with manager Marco Silva once more.
"I believe he can help me to be selected for Brazil in the full national team," Richarlison said of Silva, upon joining Everton, and that dream became a reality when the 22-year-old received his first call-up in August 2018.
Richarlison is now gearing up for a Copa America in his native Brazil, and ahead of the nation's tilt for a first Copa victory in 12 years, the forward revealed the advice he passed down to Pedro last year.
"Once he was sold, he asked me what Watford was like. I said it was a great place for young players, and it's a club that puts you in the window," Richarlison told reporters, per Goal Brazil.
"I think he'll do well there. Maybe it's a difficult position, because their captain Troy Deeney also plays there [up front], and it is difficult to drop him, but Pedro has a great future.
"The kid is good, he got three goals [against Atletico Nacional], and I hope he stays focused because he will go far."
Up next for Pedro and Fluminense is the return leg at Atletico on Wednesday night.
The spotlight will be on the youngster once more, and who knows which clubs could be watching…
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