Pedro Neto could have given Mikel Arteta’s side another scoring option alongside Gabriel Jesus late in the transfer window.
Despite manager Bruno Lage’s openness to a deal, the north Londoners signed a midfielder late in the window. Douglas Luiz was targeted over Danilo and other foreign options.
Christian Purslow and the Villa hierarchy rebuffed Edu’s late pursuit on Transfer Deadline Day.
Thomas Partey, Mohamed Elneny, Granit Xhaka, and Martin Odegaard are all injured, so Arteta must rely on his attack to compensate.
Signatures Jesus and Fabio Vieira have settled in well, with the latter showing his potential at Brentford over the weekend.
Was Edu right not to spend £50m+ on Neto? football.london examines the former Arsenal target’s early season form in the West Midlands.
With 576 Premier League minutes under his belt heading into the international break, the 22-year-old has no goal contributions and a low expected goals rate of 0.7, per FBRef.
Neto has only 24 SCA and GCA through seven games (GCA). After Sasa Kalajdzic’s debut injury, Lage had to buy Diego Costa to solve this problem.
Whether the Chelsea icon helps Neto’s game like prime Raul Jimenez does remains to be seen, but early signs in the new campaign suggest Edu was right to hold off on splashing £50m on Wolves’ No. 7, who was part of a ‘brave’ team that went toe-to-toe with Man City in their most recent Premier League match.
Lage said after a 3-0 loss, “I see good signs.” “We beat a top team with 10 men, which is rare.
“My team is fearless. We made mistakes, especially in how we conceded goals, but with 10 against 11 we were good.
“We had a good mentality in the second half to play our game.”
“The plan was to continue with Ruben as a center-back to continue with the ball and push the two midfielders into the game, and continue with Pedro (Neto) and Guedes to push the line-four,” he said.
If the player’s performance improves, Edu and the Arsenal board could pursue him in January or next summer. So far, the decision not to spend £50m on this purchase seems wise.