Pedri Gonzalez – Barcelona’s young midfielder has caught the eyes of many by being one of the brightest talents in world football right now. Both his coaches on the club as well as international level and his teammates have nothing but praise for him. The calmness, the maturity, and ability to see through the pitch, and more. The boy has played over 50 games for Barcelona, and 6 for his country, and has become the undisputed starter.
Pedri was signed from Las Palmas by Josep Maria Bartomeu in January 2020 for the following season for over €5 million with add-ons and has proven to be one of the best transfers in the club’s history. Right from the off, he has established himself as a regular in the first team, being one of the youngest players in the squad. He became the second-youngest player to reach 50 for the Catalan giants – behind Bojan Krkic and ahead of Lionel Messi – what a stat. Well deservedly, the boy won the best young player of the Euros.
PEDRI GONZALEZ ’S STATS
Las Palmas manager Pepe Mel said of the starlet: “There goes a millionaire who doesn’t know it. He’s not going to score 15 a season but everyone will grow around him. He knows exactly what every one of his teammates needs and always makes good decisions.” In the league last season, Pedri played 37 games (28 starts), assisted three times, and scored twice. He created 5 hig chances, 1.1 key passes per game, with an 88% pass accuracy. The lad has similar stats in the Champions League as well.
Passes Attempted: 55
Passes Completed: 55
???? No player has attempted so many in a game at #EURO2020 and not misplaced one
???? Ladies and gentlemen: Pedri pic.twitter.com/KD6flwRRpi
— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) July 6, 2021
???? Pedri vs Italy????????
120 Minutes played
65 Passes completed (97%)
2 Chances created
2 Long passes completed
2 Key passes completed
3 Duels won
3 Lost possessions
Pedri really deserved better today???? pic.twitter.com/seTxaHTP5c
— PedriHub???? (@PedriHub) July 6, 2021
PEDRI ON THE PITCH
In the image below, it’s visible how Pedri is aware of the run of the player, and the pass cuts through the entire defence giving the player a clear opportunity to score in front of goal. This kind of mentality and play making is one of the key skills of the player at such a young age, that will only further improve. In the image below, he lobbs the ball, again into the empty space in front of the attacker, who stays on-side with an easy opportunity to score. The way he knows the spaces between the lines is very mature for his age.
LINK UP PLAY WITH LIONEL MESSI
In both the images, it’s clearly visible how Pedri links up with Messi, is aware not just of his positioning, but also of the movement of the group of Bilbao defenders around him (above). He tricks them with a cheeky back-heel pass and Messi has only the goalkeeper to beat. In the image below, something similar happens, as he sees Messi’s run, and he’s unmarked, giving an opportunity to score a goal.
WHAT ARE PEOPLE SAYING ABOUT PEDRI
This is incredible from Pedri.
Spain have found their Xavi/Iniesta midfield heir in an 18-year-old. https://t.co/EOVHvi2UiW
— Felipe Cárdenas (@FelipeCar) July 6, 2021
1. Morata drops between the lines, Pedri drags Jorginho out of the passing lane
2. Jorginho signals for a switch and checks on Morata
3. Pedri cuts back to the ball right before the pass, catching Jorginho in a decision
4. Goal pic.twitter.com/Pk6GUVE1Ql
— John Muller (@johnspacemuller) July 6, 2021
Imagine Pedri rocking up to your five a side game. Reckon he’d nutmeg the bloke who wants to poleaxe everyone 30 times
— James Ducker (@TelegraphDucker) July 6, 2021
Pedri completing 65/67 passes as an 18 year old in a Euros semi-final, is phenomenal in itself. But when you appreciate that he’s done it from an attacking number 8 position. That is not normal
— Premier League Panel (@PremLeaguePanel) July 6, 2021
Luis Enrique: “What Pedri has done in this tournament, at 18, no one has done. Not even Andrés Iniesta did that; it’s incredible, unique.”
— UEFA EURO 2020 (@EURO2020) July 11, 2021
“After what he did in his first season with Barcelona, and also considering his performances at Euro 2020, I would say yes (he is the best young player in the world). I say the best ever, at least one of the three best in the world,” Delgado. Given that Pedri is just 18, he will only become better with time. It is evident that Pedri is going to be one of the best midfielders of his generation and one of the best players in the world for years to come. Barcelona truly have a gem in their book with him.
Pedri’s contract expires in 2022 but has an option to extend for 2 years. The club sees him as a special player, and wants to tie him down for a long time, and will offer an improved deal. In the coming season, however, the club has to manage his minutes, since he has played over 50 games for club and country, and has been named in the squad for the Japan Olympics that are going to take place in a few days. The physical, as well as the mental fatigue, without any rest whatsoever, will definitely take a toll on the 18-year-old and his form next season.
Read More About: An analysis of 17-year-old Pedri: The next Iniesta?