Jose Mourinho has been applauded for his signing of Barcelona midfielder, Cesc Fabregas, last season. Fabregas has 17 assists this season, the highest in the league.
It took the former Barcelona and Arsenal player no time to re-adapt to the English game and his new teammates. His partnership with Mourinho’s other marquee signing, Diego Costa, has been one of the driving forces behind Chelsea’s imminent title success. Mourinho now looks set to snap up another Barcelona midfielder this upcoming summer. The new target is Pedro Rodriguez. Mourinho is ready to shell out. He is willing to shell out £22 million for the player.
In the transfer window that went by, Mourinho spent £27 million to bring the Colombian Juan Cuadrado to Stamford Bridge. But it’s safe to say his impact has been minimal for the blues in this second half of the season. He has managed to play only 187 minutes in a Chelsea shirt. A dismal return on investment, surely.
It is partially unfair to judge Cuadrado in just half a season but it’s tough to see him replacing anybody in the current Chelsea midfield line-up. Pedro has been utilised on the wing as well as in attack for Barcelona. He has made 47 appearances for the Catalans and scored 12 this season. Pedro’s main strength lies in his ability to deliver key short passes in the final third. His passing percentage is strong and he can hold the ball well in a swarm of defenders. He features in advanced attacking positions during every game.
Pedro’s role at Chelsea will require him to strengthen the midfield alongside Hazard and Fabregas, cementing the core of the attack. He will surely find himself playing second fiddle to Costa who will like to play off him. Chelsea’s Premier league ambitions seem to be potentially fulfilled this year. By bringing in attacking players such as Pedro, they will mount a stronger European challenge next season.
The Colombian, who had a brilliant World Cup in Brazil last summer, has not been able to reproduce that form for Chelsea. He has gone into oblivion at Stamford Bridge. Having started only 2 games since January, it is hard to see if he will be part of Mourinho’s long term plans. Optimistic Chelsea fans believe the pre-season might help Cuadrado pick up his form and better perform in the next campaign. There is a lot of talent and experience in that Chelsea squad from which Cuadrado might just pick up some things which will help his future. The question that remains though is, what if he doesn’t?
The first half of the 2015/16 season will be a testing time for him. If he fails to impress, it will not be surprising if he is shown the door in the next January transfer window especially if Pedro’s arrival is imminent.
Barcelona look to let Pedro go
Pedro’s future has gradually slid into a haze after the arrival of Luis Suarez, who has become the third fork in a powerful trident which is Barcelona’s attack. Pedro continues to feature, but with reduced game time. The Spaniard has another year on his contract, but stand to lose him for free if suitors come knocking in 2016. It’s financially sensible to let him go now if they want to make something off the deal. The player’s career hinges on the coming season. Another year spent on the bench can be detrimental for his future. He should consider the offer to leave his boyhood club even if it is to play under a former Real Madrid manager.
Source: Vidur Kalive www.soccersouls.com