Barcelona prodigy continues to fall behind his midfield peers


Photo by Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images

The true essence of FC Barcelona has almost always been personified by the club’s midfielders. Elegance, grace, technique, composure, and effectiveness are just some of the traits they are expected to exhibit. Even now, in times of peril, Barcelona continues to boast a prominent midfield.

However, that is not to say that the same midfield has been the most extravagant in Europe this season. Riddled with injuries and inconsistencies, the team has undoubtedly suffered. However, one midfield star has visibly suffered and fallen behind his peers in the same area.

According to AS, the midfielder who is suffering the most in Barcelona right now is Pedri. Since his return, the Canary Islander has been held from completing full games and the primary reason behind that is his fitness. Still not fully recovered it seems, Pedri is not at his best just yet.

A great example of this, as per AS, was the recent game against Athletic Club. In his latest outing in the Copa Del Ray, Pedri was visibly not as effective as Frenkie De Jong and Ilkay Gundogan. However, beyond just the eye test, even the statistics back up that assessment.

Gundogan had close to a 100 touches in the game, and De Jong surpassed the century and touched the ball 117 times. In comparison, Pedri had a total of 54 touches to his name. Even the pass accuracy for the Spaniard was less impressive than those of both the Dutchman’s and the German’s.

Pedri had a pass accuracy of 82%, a figure that is not bad for just about any footballer who is not a Barcelona player. He completed 36 of the 44 passes he attempted. Gundogan and De Jong, on the other hand, had pass accuracies of 94% and 93% respectively.

Moreover, even defensively both his seniors did much better than the Spaniard. Gundogan made 11 recoveries in the game, while De Jong made a total of 9 recoveries. Pedri, on the other hand, completed only two recoveries during his time on the field.

Thus, it becomes pivotal that Barcelona recovers Pedri’s best version in the final half of the season. As long as his injuries do not persist and he is allowed to recover, the youngster has the potential to be a game-changer for Xavi. Injuries have already plagued much of his career, and they continue to provide irregularities.

With Napoli being a massive test in February, Pedri needs to be at his best by then. It is only with him at his best that Xavi can hope to bring his team back on the right track. Ultimately, however, Barcelona need Pedri to stop suffering in order for themselves to start enjoying their games again.

Raafay Humayun
Raafay Humayun
Raafay Humayun is a life-long fan of FC Barcelona and an avid enjoyer of all things Blaugrana. Having fallen in love with the club for the way they defined football for him, he now spends his time watching games, analyzing the happenings in them, and digesting any and everything related to his beloved Catalan club. He also writes as an author for Barca News Network hoping to deliver the latest updates to his fellow ‘culés’.

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