It’s official – Pedro has agreed to join Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea side in a £21.2 million switch after the Premier League champions met his Barcelona buy-out clause.
Playing his entire professional career wearing a Barcelona shirt, the 28-year-old Spaniard comes with a stunning medal haul, having won three Champion League trophies, five La Liga titles and both the European and World Championships. But what impact will he have in the blue shirt?
The champions have started the new season poorly, having picked up just one point in their opening two games, leaving them five points behind the two Manchester clubs already. The addition of a quality player seems a good move, even if only to shake up the atmosphere at Chelsea.
Besides improving the atmosphere, the addition of Pedro will significantly increase Mourinho’s attacking options, since the player’s natural position as a versatile winger has been somewhat problematic in recent years.
The brilliant Eden Hazard aside, the two other wingers, Brazilian Willian and recently added Colombian international Cuadrado, have failed to reach their full potential at Stamford Bridge. With the arrival of the Spaniard, one of these two players will most certainly fall down the pecking order at Chelsea. My guess is Cuadrado.
Why? He is a brilliant player, no doubt. But even while shining during his spell at Fiorentina, Cuadrado has never really shown signs of a defensive responsibility, which is a huge flaw, even more so in a Jose Mourinho squad. It may be that he can still show why the Portuguese boss insisted of getting him, but unless he does it fast and does it spectacularly, I’m afraid there is no future for him at the West London club.
As for Willian, he is a very rewarding player who, I feel, deserves an amount of sympathy from the Chelsea fans. His skill in attack is sacrificed due to his ability to defend well – something the Portuguese manager seeks from all of his players. Those fans who are against the Brazilian playing in the starting eleven ought to realise that Willian’s poor statistics in terms of goals and assists is not a true representation of his contribution to the team. His contribution is somewhere else: in his the work ethics and overall balance of the team.
Mourinho might even consider altering the team’s formation, in which case both Willian and Cuadrado would be required players in the Chelsea camp. Nevertheless, Pedro is different from both Willian and Cuadrado in that he brings the whole package – both the goal-scoring ability as well as the work-rate (not to mention the new haircut).
From what I’ve seen of him at Barcelona, he is about to enjoy a promising spell with the Blues.