Pedri is a treasure. After talks that he was not ready for big games, that he was not a winger.Masterclass against Juventus to announce himself to the world. Exhibition in his reading of the game, pirouettes, dribbles, changes of pace and direction…Talent, personality and great awareness.
He did pretty much everything Ronald Koeman asked him to do from the left wing. He completed 4 out of his 5 dribbles, with the majority of them being close to the touchline, and had a 95% passing accuracy. He attracts defenders and then, when under pressure, he uses his body perfectly to protect the ball and the appropriate foot — whether it’s his strong one or not — to evade the rivals.
He waits just for the right moment and always has the right timing to wiggle out of pressure through the tiniest available gap. But not only is he extremely mature and gifted in offence. In defence, yesterday he was outstanding too. He made 7 recoveries and, like Ousmane Dembélé in the opposite flank, he was very involved to help contain Juventus’ attacks by dropping very deep.
It’s in these games, where all eyes are watching and the pressure is the highest, that stars are born. Pedri ticked all boxes yesterday, even receiving praise afterwards via Twitter from Claudio Marchisio. Don’t be surprised if, like Ansu Fati, Luis Enrique soon calls him up for Spain’s national team. And, without taking merit off Pedri, Koeman deserves great credit as well for placing all his trust in the 17-year-old. Once given minutes, Pedri has shown that he deserves to be a starter, or at least the squad’s 12th player.