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Pedro Goncalves shines in Liga NOS opener; Liverpool must be watching

Pedro ‘Pote’ Goncalves started the Liga NOS season with a bang on Friday. It’s a reminder that Liverpool should be watching him.

We’ve written quite a few pieces about Pedro Goncalves, or Pote, after his exploits in Liga NOS. To say the 23-year-old has shone would be an understatement.

Pote arrived at Sporting last summer, essentially as Bruno Fernandes’s replacement. 12 months later, he’s scored 23 goals in his debut season to win the top scorer award as Sporting won their first title in nearly 20 years.

His form last season was so good that there were inevitable links with Liverpool. Record had the Reds down as interested.

We got excited, given Pote’s style appears to mesh wonderfully well with Liverpool’s. He can play wide or centrally and thrives on drifting across the forward line.

That was enough to say in May that Liverpool can’t afford to forget about the forward. To which Record, by complete coincidence, reported just days later that they hadn’t.

Liverpool, along with Juventus and Manchester United, asked Sporting about Pote. The response was to wait – nothing will happen until 2022.

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And if that’s true, Liverpool have got to make sure they’re in position to sign the player. He looks like a star.

Pedro Goncalves kicks off Liga NOS in style

Sporting were back in action for the new season on Friday evening and they beat Vizela 3-0. More importantly, Pote shone.

The 23-year-old scored two fantastic goals to push his team forward, suggesting last season really wasn’t a fluke.

His first was exactly what Liverpool like to see. Sporting stole the ball back on the halfway line and initiated a quick counter in transition.

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The ball found Pote just outside the box and he simply put his head up, saw the goalkeeper was off his line, and quickly fired it over him. It was a wonderful finish and the kind of rapid-attack Liverpool love.

Pote’s second was good, too. Sporting worked the ball wide and crossed it into the box.

The diminutive forward brought it down on the left side of he of the goal, controlled it, then smashed it into the far top corner. Again, it was just brilliant.

And once again, it was another that would get Liverpool licking their lips. Pote found space in the box to score from a cross, despite not exactly being a target man.

So really, Pote scored two great goals with each being an example of Liverpool at their attacking best – counter-attacking and crossing from deep.

They’ve got to keep their eyes on this one. He just looks too perfect.

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