One of the many headline-grabbing deals of the recently-concluded summer transfer window was the transfer of Pedro from Barcelona to Chelsea. The Spain international, who hasn’t quite managed to be a regular for his national team since making his debut in May 2010, insists his move to the Premier League champions will help him cement his place in the national set-up.
Pedro is by no means a fringe player for Spain. He is a veteran of more than 50 appearances, and heavily played his part in La Furia Roja’s twin triumphs of the 2010 World Cup and Euro 2012. Although the notion has remained he was never the first to make the teamsheets as the likes of Andres Iniesta, Xavi and Sergio Busquets did.
But Pedro is confident his move to London will help him become a regular for the national team. Playing time is what he craved during the 2014/15 season at Barcelona, a season where the Blaugrana completed the treble for the second time in seven seasons. He feels playing regularly has its own advantages, as he believes it gives him more confidence and a different mentality.
“When you have more minutes you can play at a different rhythm with more confidence and a different mentality. I am sure the move will be very good for me to play both at Chelsea and with the national team,” Pedro was quoted as saying by FIFA’s official website.
The winger is already starting to love his time at his new club, and has expressed his delight at his start with Chelsea. He has raced off the blocks at Chelsea, scoring a goal and providing two assists in his two matches to start his Blues career.
“I am happy with how my time has started at Chelsea,” he added.
Even though the 28-year-old made 50 appearances for Barcelona last term, only 22 of those came as a starter. And not much blame could be apportioned to Pedro for that, as the superior talents of Lionel Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez made it almost impossible for him to cut it at the Camp Nou. His Spain statistics have trodden a similar road, as of the 66 times he has made the squad, only 31 times has he been named in the starting eleven.
With Pedro starting alongside club-mate Diego Costa and David Silva in a front three in Saturday’s win over Slovakia in the Euro 2016 qualifiers, expectations are high that Spain’s tactical designs leading up to Euro 2016 will heavily involve the ex-Barcelona winger, as he will likely be a fixture in Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea side for the current season.
A number of players have moved this summer to enhance their national team prospects, but Pedro’s decision to leave Barcelona for the rough and tumble of the Premier League has one clear incentive, and it will be up to the player now to prove himself capable of nailing down a Spain spot for next summer’s mega event.