Portugal last night failed to secure their place at the Qatar World Cup, losing 2-1 to Serbia, but could Wolves star Pedro Neto come to their rescue next year?
Fernando Santos’ side took an early lead through reported Wolves transfer target Renato Sanches.
But it was a poor performance from the Euro 2016 winners, who did not push for another goal.
Serbia equalised through their captain Dusan Tadic, which set up a tense finish.
And it was Serbia who would score again, with Fulham striker Aleksandar Mitrovic rising highest to head a late winner.
Portugal’s team of superstars must now win a play-off match if they are to reach next year’s finals.
Santos has a lot of time to think about things, with the games taking place between March 24 and March 29. There will be three groups, each with a one-off semi-final and then a final.
Portugal will discover their opponents on November 26. Only three of 12 play-off teams will make it to Qatar.
One man Santos will likely be able to call on who he hasn’t been able to of late, is Wolves’ very own Pedro Neto.
The star was just breaking through with the senior side before he suffered his knee injury back in April.
He had accrued three caps, and many were tipping him to go to Euro 2020.
Neto remains on the sidelines after breaking his knee cap, and is on course to return to match action around mid-January.
Pedro Neto can improve Portugal
Lots of questions are rightfully being asked of Santos after last night’s awful performance.
But he can potentially improve his side by getting Neto back into the picture.
Given the games are in March, there is a good chance Neto will be back up to full speed for Wolves by then.
Prior to his injury, he was looking like one of the Premier League’s brightest youngsters.
He was someone who was constantly making things happen in a struggling side. He was both creative, and busy.
Portugal look like they need someone like that if they are to reach Qatar, so Santos should be paying close attention to the former Braga man over the next few months.