A new dependence: why is Pedri indispensable for Xavi’s Barcelona?

Barcelona midfielder Pedri
Photo by Sergio Ruiz / Pressinphoto / Icon Sport

Perhaps two and a half years ago, when the unknown youngster first stepped on the grass of Camp Nou, the world wasn’t ready for how big of a prodigy picks up the prestigious Blaugrana dress for the first time. Pedri González López – even the most fanatic Barcelona supporters heard little about the tender Canarian, but it didn’t take much time until he proved his extraordinary talent, leaving the world in awe of his otherwordly abilities.

His talent quickly unfolded. He became a regular in Ronald Koeman’s team right in his first months as a Blaugrana, and soon, he became indispensable in the Barcelona line-up. Unfortunately, a massive injury that occurred because of a brutal physical overcharge just in his first season kept him on the sidelines for a long time, but his rise in prominence continued further when Xavi took over, and it’s evident that without him, the team doesn’t work as well as it does in the presence of the Canarian wizard.

Although he ranks in the narrowest elite of midfielders in a myriad of statistics regarding progressivity, creativity, passing at any range, and finishing as well, the essence of his contribution lies much deeper, numbers can’t describe what he provides this needy Barcelona midfield.

His sense of pausa, his intelligence to dictate the tempo of the game, knowing when to slow down and when to accelerate, paired with an unreal poise and composure at such a tender age is a truly unique arsenal that really few can possess.

His natural skill is extraordinary, no doubt about that, but he also puts in all the humble work for the sake of the team. Without the ball, he defends in a disciplined manner, but when given the chance, capitalizes on the opportunity to launch the new wave of attack. In possession, his versatile skillset allows him to operate in different roles during the buildup, fulfilling both a deeper or a more advanced role satisfyingly while can also play on the wings if necessary, more in a false winger role.

With his clever passing and inventive carrying, he is able to link the defense with the attack, while he especially thrives in the final third, picking up the right pass at the edge of the efficiency. Another huge weapon he recently added to his arsenal is finishing as he has become a frequent goalscorer for the Blaugrana this season with his 6 goals.

The fact that he missed a lot of big chances last season just highlights the improvement in that department as he already doubled the number of league goals he scored during the last campaign. And, he does all that with such an elegance that catches the eye of the spectator as one can already know that something enchanting will happen when the little magician has the ball at his feet.

His refined touch and technical exuberance make the rapturous crowd cheer ecstatically, and his hawk-like vision paired with such bloomy creativity and magnificent execution can really create beauty out of thin air, be it an elegant one-two, a silky dribble, a sharp key pass, or even a pinpoint finish.

Pedri is a complete player. At just the age of 20, he has a complete skillset for an elite midfielder, able to compete sensationally in multiple roles across the pitch. His versatile skills and extraordinary talent are rare to match, and thus, his indispensability from Xavi’s roster – due to his amazing uniqueness – is undisputed.


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