Perhaps it’s time for Watford fans to start getting excited over João Pedro.
The 17-year-old, who should be moving to Vicarage Road in January, had already scored a very important goal for Fluminense last Wednesday, getting all the spotlight from the Brazilian press.
His goal was a reason for a prank from his teammates, who shaved his head before the league match against Cruzeiro at the weekend. And even though he wasn’t a starter, the teenager could shine again.
João Pedro was brought on in the second half, and scored two goals in the 4-1 win, showing he should be a real deal for the club this season.
“They took be my surprise, pranked me and I ended up bald. It’s good it gave me luck, otherwise I would be angry,” said João Pedro after the match.
Globo Esporte features a big story about the player today. They’ve interviewed Marcelo Teixeira, who used to be Fluminense’s academy director, and revealed a meeting he had with the youngster’s mother back in 2015.
João Pedro had left Ribeirão Preto for Rio de Janeiro, and was making R$300 (£60) a month at the club. Since his family moved with him, that was all the money they had.
“I remember until today, that marked me a lot. She talked about problems, lacked food at home, and had no money to buy clothes for her son. I hugged her and told her that, from that day on, it wasn’t going to happen again. It was to help the human being,” Marcelo Teixeira told Globo Esporte.
“In three hours, I told my whole life,” João Pedro’s mother Flávia told Globo Esporte. “I was really moved because we were broke for everything, even for the milk of the house. From the help, we improved and we created a friendship. It was crucial to everything that came after. I usually talk about Xerém hugging people because they helped change our lives.”
João Pedro has been loyal to Fluminense since then, with his mother claiming they’ve rejected offers to earn twice as much at other Brazilian clubs. After impressing for the club’s youth levels, he was sold to Watford back in November last year.
Only after the agreement, he started being used by the first team, who are finally seeing how good he is. Globo Esporte claims that Watford have only paid €2.5m for the signing so far, and the other €7.5m depends on bonuses. It all looks like a steal for now.