A player that seems to have been consistently lighting it up in the shadows of other superstars his whole career, Pedro is reportedly on the brink of a move away from Barcelona to Manchester United. This is a move that makes sense on Pedro’s side considering his quality and lack of game time, but for Barcelona it is a transfer that can be questioned for multiple reasons.
Pedro has played for Barcelona his whole career. He developed through their famed youth academy, and entered the first team for the first time in the 2007/08 season. Since then he has achieved great success with the Catalans having won multiple titles. He opened the scoring on the Champions League final in 2010 against Manchester United, and has become a regular in Vincent Del Bosque’s Spain squad. Despite all this, he is mostly known for his role as a squad player for Barcelona.
Although not as talented as Lionel Messi, Neymar, or Luis Suarez, Pedro’s role for Barcelona is just as important. Whenever called upon from the bench Pedro is reliable and adds something else to the game. Against Juventus in the Champions League Final, he was brought on late in the game but still managed to make an impact as he set up Neymar to kill the game in the last kick of the ball. This highlights the quality that Pedro offers off the bench. Few teams can turn to their bench consistently and have someone of that calibre always ready to deliver.
What makes Pedro so good when he plays is his intelligence, pace and selflessness. Pedro’s football intelligence is as good as any others. Pedro’s footballing intelligence is due to the prestigious academy he came from. He is very technical in the way he makes intelligent runs in behind and always makes himself available to his teammates. His pace is what allows him to make those runs as he is usually a step ahead of the defence. Those qualities make him good, but it is his selflessness that make him stand out. Pedro always has his head up looking to play others in rather than taking on the shot himself. Although he isn’t at the Belgian’s level, Pedro is like Eden Hazard in this way that he takes more joy in setting up a teammate after cutting in than taking the shot like Ronaldo. His selflessness also shows in his industry as he always tracks back and covers Danni Alves who likes to push up higher than the average fullback.
The transfer ban that Barcelona has on them at the moment is also a reason to not sell Pedro. If Pedro is allowed to leave, a simple question is raised, who will replace him? No one can be brought in to replace Pedro if he leaves until January. That leaves bringing up less experienced youth academy players or leaving his role to the hot prospect Munir. This is less than ideal as Munir is only eighteen and is not yet at the quality of Pedro, and Barcelona isn’t in need of funds so letting Pedro go would be weakening themselves.
Ultimately selling Pedro would be bad business for Barcelona. Few players today seem to be content with coming off the bench and mainly being a squad player, but Pedro seems to be one of them. This, his quality and Barcelona’s transfer ban mean that keeping Pedro should be Barcelona’s number one priority this transfer window.