Pedro Rodriguez Ledesma – A player who has won everything there is to with his club and country and still has become somewhat sidelined at Nou Camp over the last season. And the reason for that, obviously, is the rise of MSN. Messi, Suarez and Neymar.
Few players around the world possess a CV that this Barcelona forward holds. Also, few players have had the luck of being so adored by his coaches, yet so reviled by so many supporters while being misunderstood by those same cliques.
Pedro has played for Barcelona his entire career. A one club man, Pedro rose through the club’s famed youth academy ‘La Masia’ and debuted for the first team in 2007/08 season. Since then he has been a vital part of this FCB squad, winning multiple titles and helping the team by scoring in the most important matches; most memorable of all is his strike against Manchester United in the 2011 Champions League final.
Fast forward two years and the scenario was totally different as the Barca board had decided to bring in Neymar Jr from Santos FC. Neymar was slotted to his preferred position – left wing – with the Centre role for Messi and the right wing for Alexis Sanchez. Pedro was rotated with Sanchez but his time at the sidelines took a significant rise. A year later, Barca went for another huge name, Luis Suarez and sold Alexis Sanchez to Arsenal. Suarez began to settle with the Catalans and Messi was shifted to the right wing to get the best out of the former Liverpool man. Pedro’s chances at the club took a dip while MSN’S road to glory had just began as the trio scored a whopping 122 goals out of the total 170 scored by FCB last season.
The 28-year-old possesses a fearsome pace and a horse like work attitude which has even led to his nickname ‘Pedro Roadrunner’ among the supporters. Also, above all he has grown with the Tiki Taka style of Catalans and is well versed with their philosophy of pass and move. He isn’t as talented as the current front three of Barcelona but he is better than all the other forwards they have at their disposal.
Starting in his preferred position of Left Forward, he earned a Whoscored rating of 7.23 and 7.26 when he started as a Right forward. These ratings tell us that the World Cup and Euro Cup winner has still lot left in the tank to offer for the team.
If Barcelona do let Pedro leave this summer, they won’t have an adequate backup for the attacking triumvirate of Messi, Suarez, Neymar as any injury or illness issue or even when either of the players need a rest, Enrique doesn’t has a world class forward to field. Cristian Tello is on loan at Porto, Munir El Haddadi and Sandro Ramirez have been promoted to the first team squad from B team last season but they are still in their development stage and are no match to the experience that the Barca number 7 provides.
The 28-year-old has a lot of admirers in the Premier League with Manchester United reportedly on the verge of snatching the player as the Premier League giants are in the process of rebuilding their squad following the trophy-less seasons they have had after the departure of Sir Alex Ferguson. Liverpool and Manchester City are also rumored to be interested in him.
Pedro is bound to leave sometime in the future given the fact that he still holds the trust of national team coach Vicente del Bosque and with the Euro Cup and the World Cup qualifier matches on the horizon, his time at the Camp Nou bench surely isn’t going to help his case. As for Barca, the player’s departure couldn’t have come at a worse time as even if Luis Enrique goes out to the market to bring in his replacement, he won’t be able to field him till January, 2016.
Lucho needs to convince Pedrito to stay for at least 6 months and give him assurance of playing time or else Barcelona will regret it if they let him leave the Camp Nou turf this summer.