Wolverhampton Wanderers have added to their Portuguese contingent by completing a double deal for Lazio youngsters Bruno Jordão and Pedro Neto.
The former pair were announced by Wolves on Friday evening and sign for Nuno Espírito Santo’s side on long-term deals, joining compatriots Rui Patricio, Rúben Vinagre, João Moutinho, Rúben Neves and Diogo Jota at Molineux.
Jordão, 20 and Neto, 19, moved to the Italian capital from Braga in 2017 on loan deals with an obligation to purchase. Both players began to make a breakthrough with Lazio last season, seeing Jordão make four appearances and Neto turning out six times for Simone Inzaghi’s side.
With Lazio fulfilling their obligation to make the transfers permanent, the duo soon saw their names linked with moves. Benfica were thought to be close to securing the signatures of the pair earlier this summer, but Wolves have swooped for Jordão and Neto and sporting director Kevin Thelwell spoke of a long-term view behind the deals.
“They’re two very talented individuals in positions we’re keen to add to,” Thelwell said. “But with both Pedro and Bruno it’s more about their potential for the future.
“We see signing young talent as a way forward; for example, Morgan Gibbs-White from the Academy, several other young players from the Academy who have been in the first-team recently, and Rúben Vinagre, who we signed at a very young age.
“We think these two guys are right up there at that level and have both got high potential to be successful here at Wolves. However, we expect it will take time for them to break into the first-team as they’re so young and they’re playing in a new country and a new environment, but we will try to integrate them into the first-team group as much as possible.
“We don’t want to put too much pressure on them in the early stages of their time here, but in due course we hope we will see good examples of their true potential and quality at first-team level.”
The youngsters have been drafted into Nuno’s ranks to replace Portuguese forwards Hélder Costa and Ivan Cavaleiro, who left Wolves for Championship clubs Leeds and Fulham respectively last month. The news comes shortly after Wolves completed recent deals for AC Milan’s Patrick Cutrone and Jesus Vallejo from Real Madrid.
Wolves this week progressed to the 3rd qualifying round of the Europa League with a 6-1 aggregate win over Northern Ireland side Crusaders. Vinagre and Jota scored the goals in a 2-0 first-leg win, while Jota and Moutinho provided assists in the return, which ended in a 4-1 away win for Nuno’s men, who play Pyunik of Armenia in the next round.
By Sean Gillen