Kenny Hibbitt: Special Pedro Neto gives everybody a boost at Wolves

Wolves great Kenny Hibbitt has hailed Pedro Neto as the instigator of their upturn in results – and says he must be kept in the summer.

Pedro Neto of Wolverhampton Wanderers celebrates after scoring a goal to make it 1-2 (AMA)
Pedro Neto of Wolverhampton Wanderers celebrates after scoring a goal to make it 1-2 (AMA)

Nuno Espirito Santo’s side, after a difficult few months, have gone four unbeaten in the Premier League.

Neto, meanwhile, leads the way in terms of both goals and assists, and Hibbitt – who made 574 appearances across 16 years at Molineux – believes the winger’s performances have rubbed off on the rest of the team.

“Neto has been outstanding. He’s one player I really, really like, and I have done since he came into the side,” said Hibbitt. “That reflects on to the other players. They’ll see him performing well, and then it just spreads throughout the team.

“At the moment, that’s what we’re seeing. The performances of individuals is improving the team as a whole.

“It’s not about him just scoring goals, although it was a great goal from him at Southampton.

“He gets hold of the ball and he runs at people, and he gets players around him.

“It’s like Jack Grealish at Villa – who they missed the other night. When he gets it, everybody else is on the move because they know what he can do.

“As a forward, you want to get into positions where he can find you.

“If you look at the response of the other players around him, they don’t just stand about. They move.

“He’s creating problems for the opposition and helping his team-mates.

“Adama Traore has done it as well, but you need players like Neto in the side.”

Neto’s stunning winner at Southampton a couple of weeks ago put the 20-year-old on five goals for the season, while he has registered four assists.

That goes down as a contender for goal of the season, especially from a Wolves point of view, and the 20-year-old is now widely considered one of the Premier League’s best youngsters.

And former midfielder Hibbitt insists they cannot afford to lose him at the end of the season.

“I hope we can keep hold of this boy because I think he’s going to be special,” he said. “His performances have proved that he’s a top player.

“Neto is one player we need to keep, definitely.

“He’s so quick and so well-balanced. He can deliver and get us goals.

“He’s the one who’s inspired us to start performing a bit better.”

Hibbitt, meanwhile, is pleased Ruben Neves has started chipping in more on the goal front and says that has also played a role in Wolves’ improvement as of late.

Neves has scored four times in 2021 – albeit three of those goals have come from the penalty spot.

“Absolutely. Results will get better if goals are coming from other areas, and Neves has got a few,” added Hibbitt. “They’ve picked up as a whole. To be fair, I feel for all players in the Premier League at the moment, having to play in front of no fans.

“Wolves hadn’t been going so well for a patch, so it’s hard to pick up when the fans aren’t there for you.

“So, it’s nice to see Nuno has kept faith in them and they’ve picked up.

“We’re defending a bit better than we were a few weeks ago.

“We’ve had serious injuries which have disrupted the team, but we’re getting back.

“Willian Jose has come in and leads the line well, and the team has had a lift.”

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