In the latest Juve transfer rumours, they have been linked with a January move for Spanish attacking midfielder Pedro. Allegri apparently sees Pedro as an ideal candidate for a central attacking role behind the main striker. Does this make sense? Will Chelsea really be prepared to let him go half way through the season?
Nationality: 64 caps 17 goals
Position: anywhere across the attacking midfield line
Reported Transfer Fee: no mention
2016/17 League Stats: 26 starts (9 sub appearances) 9 goals (9 assists)
Verdict: This is one of those rumours which I have to admit caught me a bit off guard. Given the time of year, with the window just closing, our scepticism levels should be pretty high when it comes to the rumour mill though. If clubs were serious about the players they are being linked with why didn’t they move a matter of weeks ago? Why wait until January if there was any suggestion of a move? Many of the top players are likely to be cup-tied for European football in the second half the season. Where’s the logic?
I can’t think of any suitable answers to the above questions, so for me the potential of Pedro leaving Chelsea at any time this season is almost unthinkable. Pedro has been a good player for Chelsea and particularly Conte, not outstanding, his consistency probably stops him from being mentioned with the best, even at the Chelsea. However he works hard for the team and usually puts in a shift. He’s a willing runner and stretches teams. His movement is probably the one thing which sets him apart from Willian and is possibly the only reason I can see him starting ahead of the Brazilian as often as he does.
To be completely honest with you, in my opinion, Willian is a better, rounded player and can provide everything Pedro can and more. He too can play wide and stretch teams, has great pace and an even better work ethic. Who am I to argue with Conte who won the league in his first season in England though? Pedro creates space for his team-mates and his direct approach suits Chelsea’s tactical set-up. Possibly Hazard and Willian are seen to be too similar as both are technicians and like to get on the ball and make things happen.
Either way Pedro is important to Chelsea and Conte likes him. This is all that matters.
At 30 years of age I question how much longer Pedro is going to be capable of playing at the top level. Given his reliance on pace he may suffer earlier than some other players. For this reason, maybe Chelsea will decide to cash in but not until the summer, at the earliest. I would expect a couple of additions in the attacking midfield before such ideas are entertained though. He’s got a good couple of years still left in him. Chelsea won’t be ready for any potential departures anytime soon.
In terms of from Juventus’ perspective, my trust in this rumour is further tested. Especially according to some of the details of the reports. Pedro can play anywhere across the attacking midfield line but I’m not convinced through the centre, where it’s most crowded, suits him. Conte likes his attacking midfielders in the half spaces just in front of the defence and between the respective centre-back and full-back area. From here, Pedro is in a prime position to either come inside or go wide, he has the option. Whilst he spent a lot of his career with Barcelona out wide too. I’m not convinced he’s going to be seen as a replacement for Dybala who operates as Juve’s attacking midfielder in the centre more often than not. Nor am I convinced Juventus would use a different type of player, more reliant on physical qualities as opposed to technical ones. It seems unnecessarily drastic. They have been dominant domestically and made two Champions League finals recently.
If Juventus were to use Pedro in a wider area, to compete with Cuadrado, for example on the right then that would make more sense for me. He may even be seen as an alternative to the specialised way Mandzukic plays as an attacking left-midfielder. So for me a more logical, believable turn of events, would be Juventus moving for Pedro in the summer as a wider option.
However in the meantime I doubt there’s any real interest with neither side interested in doing business and far more concerned with their starts to the season. If there’s any interest, which I still doubt, then I strongly suspect it’s very tentative from Juventus, at best.
Can you see Pedro leaving Chelsea for Juventus? Leave your thoughts below.