17-year-old Barcelona wonderkid Pedri is already shining at the highest level

Quick Reads

Amid all the chaos behind the scenes at Barcelona, there are some reasons to be optimistic about the future. 17-year-old wonderkids Ansu Fati and Pedri, for starters. 

Fati has established himself as one of the hottest properties in European football after making his first-team debut at the age of 16 over a year ago, and now a regular for Spain.

But Pedri, who is 25 days younger than Fati, is swiftly following in his footsteps, having become a regular under Ronald Koeman. After signing a five-year deal to move from Las Palmas last September, he arrived at the Camp Nou in the summer and has been an instant hit.

Breakout performance

The precocious attacking midfielder has had plenty of experience of first-team football, with faith shown by former West Brom coach Pepe Mel for second-tier Las Palmas last season and 36 appearances in the Segunda Division.

He’s since instantly caught the eye in La Liga, and scored his first Barcelona goal off the bench in the 5-1 Champions League group stage opener over Hungarian champions Ferencvaros, before getting an 82-minute run-out in the 3-1 El Clasico defeat at home to Real Madrid.

But it was in Barcelona’s 2-0 away win away at Juventus in the Champions League in which he really stood out and staked his claim as one of the next big things.

It was a performance of sublime confidence and swagger from the 17-year-old, who was never afraid to show his skills and wriggle out of tight spaces, bamboozling the perennial Serie A champions in the process.

He registered a 95% pass completion rate, completed five of the six dribbles he attempted, and three tackles – the joint-most for the visitors as they put in a dominant display in Turin.

See for yourself, with a stunning individual highlights reel posted by Reddit user KyraMich. Watch below:

What’s been said

“Pedri is impressive, he has shown his personality even though he’s very young. He will be a great player for Barça,” said Koeman after his individual display against Juventus.

“In the first training session, we saw that he was a special player. In his first rondo, he was never ending up in the middle, he was something different,” says former Las Palmas sporting director Rocco Maiorino.

“The more time he spent, the more we saw that we had a special player. Humble, intelligent, he never makes a mistake, in any position or situation,”

“My first reference is Andrés Iniesta,” said Pedri himself after his unveiling at Barcelona.

“I love his football and how smart he is on the field. For me how he plays is art. And now I love Frenkie de Jong and I look at him a lot.”

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