Manuel Veth –
It was only a side not on an otherwise relatively quiet Wednesday evening in terms of football news. Ukrainian side Shakhtar Donetsk have signed Brazilian winger Pedrinho from Benfica in a deal worth €18 million.
Confirmed by both clubs, Transfermarkt later added in their story that the fee was the same as what Benfica originally paid for Pedrinho in 2020 when they signed the 23-year-old from Corinthians. The deal is also slightly above Pedrinho’s market value of €15 million.
Those transactions are quite typical. You can play online and bet on judi slot online on all sorts of things. One certain bet will be Shakhtar signing Brazilians in their quest to be competitive domestically and internationally in UEFA competitions.
As things stand, Pedrinho will become the 13th Brazilian on Shakhtar’s squad—although some players, like Alan Patrick, who has been linked with the Vancouver Whitecaps—could still leave the club. Either way, Shakhtar have experience when it comes to signing and developing players from Brazil.
But what sort of player are they going to get in Pedrinho? Going on his recent numbers makes it difficult to judge the player. Pedrinho had a largely unproductive season, with Benfica scoring just one goal and four assists in 31 games across all competitions.
Going back to his time at Corinthians reveals the same sort of deficiencies. In 93 games across all competitions, Pedrinho has managed just eight goals and eight assists. Either way, Pedrinho is not a very productive contributor on the scoresheet.
Instead, Pedrinho’s strengths lay elsewhere. The Brazilian is a typical dribbler; throughout his career, he has completed 56% of his on average 6.37 dribbles per 90 minutes. Using the stats-platform Wyscout, what stands out is that the right-winger is not a player for deep penetrating runs, spending most of his time in and around the touchline.
The 23-year-old is one for the second last pass rather than the final pass. On average, Pedrinho managed 6.27 passes to the final third per 90 minutes (75.3% accurate), and 4.71 of those passes reach the penalty area (52.5% accurate).
In other words, Pedrinho is not a pure attacking player but more of a transition player. Playing for Shakhtar that means occupying the space between wing-back Dodô and winger Tetê, filling in the holes for either one or even acting as a replacement should one of them miss playing time.
Another option, and that could always be the case at Shakthar, is that Pedrinho will replace one of the two players. Both Dodô and Tetê have been linked with transfers to other leagues—Bayern Munich was interested in both at one point. In that case, Pedrinho could be groomed to fill that hole.
Manuel Veth is the editor-in-chief of the Futbolgrad Network and the Area Manager USA at Transfermarkt. He has also been published in the Guardian, Newsweek, Howler, Pro Soccer USA, and several other outlets. Follow him on Twitter: @ManuelVeth