All summer long we have been waiting for the inevitable news to break through: “BREAKING: Manchester United complete the signing of Pedro Rodríguez from Barcelona”. That never came, because instead, José Mourinho snatched the Spaniard away from his likely move to Old Trafford and drafted him to an already strong Chelsea side. This audaciously quick move by Mourinho would appear to have already been justified; Pedro sparkled in his debut against West Bromwich Albion, as he inspired his new team to a 3-2 away victory, scoring one for himself and assisting one for international team-mate Diego Costa. Furthermore, it was like he had been a part of the Chelsea side for years, with his illustrious link up play with Eden Hazard and Cesc Fabregas, his ability to stretch the opponent and his dazzling dribbling all got Chelsea fans chanting “Are you watching United?”. It was a debut to remember for the 28-year-old, but is this just the first of many good performances to come?
Like a lot of transfer deals – Alexis Sánchez and Mesut Özil to Arsenal, Ángel Di María to Manchester United, Diego Costa and Cesc Fabregas to Chelsea, David Silva and Sergio Agüero to Manchester City (I could go on forever, here) – Pedro swaps La Liga for the Premier League, which is becoming a regular occurrence. Although the Spanish forward comes in as the cheapest out of the players mentioned (£19million, potentially rising to £21.4million), and possibly the least known to your ‘average’ football fan, he could make the biggest impact – as already seen in just his first game for Chelsea, giving them their first win of the season.
Pedro gives the Blues something different and is certainly more established than Juan Cuadrado, who Chelsea splashed £23million on in the January transfer window. Surely Pedro won’t be a waste of money like the Colombian, and you could even consider the fee relatively cheap when you examine the market of today, as he is a top player, within touching distance of being appreciated as ‘world class’. He is quick; can get in behind the defence – unlike most players already in the Chelsea ranks; he’s versatile; has a frightening work-rate and, most importantly, he can create goals and score them himself. I know what you’re thinking: he sounds a lot like Alexis Sánchez of Arsenal. Not to forget, Pedro, who was part of the Spain side that won the World Cup in 2010 and the European Championships in 2012, kept Sánchez out of the Barcelona squad. That speaks volumes. But at the Catalan club, Pedro was overseen himself by the likes of Lionel Messi, Andres Iniesta, Neymar and Luis Suarez, however, who wouldn’t be? Nevertheless, he was still a valuable member in the Barcelona squad, scoring 99 goals in 321 appearances across all competitions, winning 20 major honours. You can see why Mourinho made no hesitation to sign him!
His fascinating debut is only the beginning. Once he settles down in England, gets to know his team-mates even more, Pedro is going to seriously flourish in West London, and who knows? Maybe lead Chelsea to another Premier League title, or bigger, the Champions League. The future looks bright for Chelsea’s new number 17.