Pedri - Scouting Report
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At just the tender age of 18, Spanish youngster Pedri has turned into a permanent fixture in the centre of the pitch for the Blaugrana. The Las Palmas youth product signed his first professional contract with the island club aged only 16. Barcelona scouts made their interest known for Pedri after his repeated impressive performances and signed him for a bargain transfer of €5m. The Tenerife-born midfielder has impressed more than most after his great debut 2020/21 season for the Catalan club, prompting the Spanish national team to call him up to the first team.

The youngster is an intelligent player for his age, capable of holding and conducting play in midfield – under Ronald Koeman’s system of play. The fact that no U22 has appeared more times this season in Europe’s top five leagues than Pedri (52 appearances), speaks volumes. He has missed just one match in La Liga this season, Barca’s final day clash against Eibar. The trust placed in him has been paid back and it is safe to say that Barca have unearthed a jewel in midfield, at least for the next 5-10 years, if he continues performing on the highest levels as he has done regularly so this season. 

Pedri is the type of player who enjoys his freedom in midfield, just like AndrésIniesta did. The nimble youngster can cover any position in midfield – you name it and he has probably been there and even excelled in it – as a No.8, box-to-box midfielder, deep-lying playmaker, winger, attacking midfielder and even at times as a defensive midfielder. He has all the traits to be termed as the new generation’s Iniesta, excelling in maintaining possession, building up play from the back out of defence, and carrying the ball forward with mature precision. Just like Don Andrés, it has been increasingly difficult to narrow down Pedri’s best position due to his brilliant versatility. 

The zone he prefers to play out most of his minutes in is the left wing, from where he is known to dictate play and spread out passes to maintain strong momentum in possession play – the kind of game Barca are known to excel in. His passing range is excellent and his eye to make incisive defence-splitting passes is not lauded enough. A hard worker on and off the ball, Pedri’s work rate has seen him cover large distances in the space of ninety minutes – something he has been known for since his Las Palmas days. He also possesses the technicality to maintain play in tight spaces and play the ball accurately to his forwards in a timely manner. Perhaps his greatest strength is to be comfortable with both feet, although he is primarily a right footed player. Creative, tactically intelligent and precise in his method of play, he is talented enough at 18 to hold his place as a starter for many years to come.

Pedri however, is not short of weaknesses. At his tender age, physicality plays a huge role in how he develops as time passes by. He is strong on the ball and will only get stronger in the coming seasons. Pedri is a wonderful ball-winner but he can improve his ability to make timely challenges and can risk challenging opponents in a more straightforward manner.

Barcelona have been extremely clever in luring Pedri to Catalunya and he is proving to be one their best signings in recent years. He has already appeared on the national stage with Spain this year, debuting in the 2022 World Cup Qualifiers.

With several years of development ahead of him on the path of previous legends that have graced the central midfield role for the Blaugrana, Pedri is capable of turning out to be one of Spain’s greatest midfield generals in modern times, among the likes of Cesc Fabregas, David Silva, Andrés Iniesta, Xavi Hernandez and Xabi Alonso. 

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