The 17-year-old has been off to an impressive start in his debut season with Barcelona.
Pedri joined Barcelona this summer after agreeing to a five-year deal worth 5m euros last September. Despite impressing with Las Palmas in the previous two seasons, many doubted that the teenager would struggle to make an instant impact at a big club like Barcelona. However, Pedri has integrated to Ronald Koeman’s squad like a duck to the water.
A promising start to his Barcelona career
Pedri’s arrival never created quite the hype as Barca were reeling off their lacklustre 19/20 season, which saw them end up with no trophies. Add to it, Lionel Messi’s transfer saga – Luckily, he opted to stay in the end. Even the 17-year-old wasn’t optimistic about his chances in the first team, which has been littered with superstar profiles like Lionel Messi, Ousmane Dembele, Ansu Fati, Antoine Griezmann and Philippe Coutinho.
Pedri did enjoy some minutes under Koeman in the first three games of La Liga and even registered his first goal for Barca in the 5-1 win against Ferencvaros. However, it was until the Champions League fixture against Juventus, where he made his full start with Barcelona after Coutinho sustained a hamstring injury. Pedri’s dribbling prowess and technical qualities were spot-on during the game as Barca were able to beat the Bianconeri 2-0 eventually. The Spaniard soon followed up with another stellar display against Real Betis, where he scored his first league goal.
Possessing traits to become a superstar at Barcelona
Pedri is in the mould of a typical Barca player, excelling at passing, creating and occupying spaces and technical attributes despite being light-weighted. Moreover, his calm demeanour and the eagerness to learn makes him a coveted prospect.
Pedri’s former coach Delgado said,
Beyond his football qualities, his maturity as a person stood out. The respect and treatment he always gave to his rivals, his teammates and coaches was different from that of others.”
Koeman also admitted that he didn’t expect such an impressive start from the teenager.
“Especially given that I didn’t know him that well, the player who’s surprised me the most [since arriving] is Pedri.”
“I knew Barça had signed him from Las Palmas and I had seen tape of him, but I don’t think anyone expected the rapidity of his development since joining – playing and training with the best players at Barça aged just 17, delivering such high levels of performance.”
Koeman’s trust in Pedri is paying the dividends and it would be no surprise if the Spanish U21 star becomes a regular for the Catalans.
It has been a while since Barca have produced some promising homegrown talents and it might end with Pedri. Nothing against Riqui Puig and Carles Alena, but Pedri is up the pecking order of Koeman.