Aston Villa will scout £70m Pedro Goncalves again in Arsenal Europa League clash

Aston Villa scouted Pedro ‘Pote’ Goncalves this weekend and will do so again on Thursday as they consider bringing the former Wolves starlet back to the Premier League from Sporting Lisbon, according to Record.

Portimonense is one thing. Arsenal is another, overall bigger challenge.

Sporting, Portuguese champions in 2021, will become the latest in a long line of teams looking to stop Mikel Arteta’s Thursday night winning machine; to win a place in the quarter-finals of the UEFA Europa League.

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Goncalves will be one of the first names on Ruben Amorim’s squad against the Gunners; the so-called ‘new Bruno Fernandes’ Sporting’s leading source of creativity and goals from midfield. His tally of 16 goals and eight assists this season are numbers Manchester United’s number eight would be proud of themselves.



Aston Villa, the Record says, was in the stands when ‘Pote’ set up the winning goal in Sporting’s 1-0 win at Portimonense on Saturday. However, Arsenal will be a far greater test of his talents. Defeat Thomas Partey, William Saliba and co and Goncalves’ reported £70m asking price won’t look quite so exaggerated.

Aston Villa are eyeing former Wolves starlet Pedro ‘Pote’ Goncalves

Whether Aston Villa would be willing to part with such a stunning fee only time will tell. Unai Emery wants more attacking thrust in the deeper areas and has the backing of some of the Premier League’s wealthiest and most ambitious owners. Still, Aston Villa will have concerns about spending £70m on a single player if reinforcements are also needed elsewhere.

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There’s also a chance that Sporting Goncalves will sell for far less than the advertised price. Fernandes joined Manchester United in 2020 for £47million. And that’s despite plenty of publications suggesting he would cost close to £80million at the time.

Goncalves, meanwhile, may feel he has work to do in England. He was sacked by Aston Villa’s Midland neighbors Wolves before even making his Old Gold debut.

“He’s an absolute diamond,” Rob Edwards, former Wolves (now Luton Town) youth manager, told Sky Sports. “He’s a brilliant young man. Wow, he’s doing great. I’m so proud of him and so happy for him.”

“What he has done since then deserves all credit to him. He worked really hard for it and deserves everything he gets. He has the right attitude. He is brave.”

“Someone like Pedro, who is technically brilliant and really talented, will not be fazed by a mistake. The greatest thing about working with top talent is that you never have to motivate them. You do it every day.

“He’s going to have a phenomenal career.”

Photo by Carlos Rodrigues/Getty Images

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