'You need to get this kid' – Club legend helps Brighton gazump Newcastle and smash transfer record

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Brighton and Hove Albion smashed their transfer record this summer as Joao Pedro signed from Watford for £30m.

The Brazilian attacker joined the Seagulls on a five-year contract and the powerful and skilful attacker is tipped to play a key role as Albion prepare for Europa League football next season.

Ex-Brighton striker Glenn Murray was in the latter stages of his prolific Albion career when he spent part of the 2020/21 season at Watford. He was immediately impressed by a young striker the Hornets had signed from Fluminense and reported back to Brighton, saying they should make a move for this youngster called Pedro.

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Pedro went on to make 104 outings for the Hornets and competed in the both the Premier League and the Championship as they bounced between the divisions for the next few campaigns. Newcastle were said to be keen on Pedro and a switch to St James' Park appeared to be agreed but it was Brighton who made the decisive move and Pedro will now add an extra dimension to the Albion attack.

Joao Pedro was introduced to fans of Brighton & Hove Albion ahead of his summer move from WatfordJoao Pedro was introduced to fans of Brighton & Hove Albion ahead of his summer move from Watford
Joao Pedro was introduced to fans of Brighton & Hove Albion ahead of his summer move from Watford

Murray, speaking the Albion website, recalled: “I was that impressed that within a week I had called Brighton and said ‘you need to buy this kid!' When I was with him he was only 19, but he made the game look easy. I said to Albion you need to get this kid because he’s special.

“I’ll never forget when Ben White stepped up to the first team with us at Brighton and everyone was thinking ‘he’s really good’. You can have a lot of kids step in and they don’t necessarily catch your eye, but there’s one every now and then where they step up and you know they’re decent. Joao was that player, it felt like a strong squad at the time but Joao stood out on all levels."

Murray also feels the 21-year-old has the personality and right attitude to thrive under De Zerbi at Brighton. “He is very bubbly, he’s a really nice, happy lad who loves playing football. He’s never happier than when he’s got a ball at his feet to be honest. He’s always smiling, laughing and having a bit of banter. He’s a good kid. There is that jokey side to him, but once he crosses the white line there’s a steeliness to him. He’s built, he’s athletic.

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"He will benefit from the structure at Brighton, he will have a clear understanding of what Roberto expects from him and Roberto will give him a clear path as to how to bring his ability to the fore.”