Chelsea have moved in swiftly to confirm their four major signing of the summer after an indifferent start to the season. Barcelona winger Pedro moves to Stamford Bridge in a deal that could eventually be worth around £21.5 million. His arrival should significantly strengthen the wings, where Eden Hazard and William continue to be the major creative force. January signing Juan Cuadrado has become an immense failure and is likely to be on his way out before the end of this window. Upon joining the London club, he said:
“I am very happy to be here. I am very excited to start my adventure at Chelsea and I am here to keep winning titles.
Thanks to the club and the supporters for giving me the opportunity to put the blue shirt on.”
Pedro was subjected to initial interest from Chelsea, but Manchester United were the favourites to sign him over the last couple of weeks. Pedro has decided to join the London club instead and this is likely to be down to the better first-team opportunities that he may have at Chelsea. Louis van Gaal has been recently getting a lot of bad press about keeping players happy. It may also have played its part. The signing of the Barcelona star once again represents a major shift in the transfer policy of Chelsea. The blues have been signing – and later selling – young players like Kevin De Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku, who have gone to generate massive profits in the transfer window.
At 28 years of age, Pedro is the sort of experienced signing that Mourinho made during his first spell at the club. His departure was not bring a huge void to the Barcelona first-team. Pedro was already not part of Luis Enrique’s plans. This was as much evident in the UEFA Super Cup game against Sevilla when Enrique decided to go with defender Rafinha to replace Neymar rather than the more attack minded Pedro. Even then, the 28-year-old provided something to celebrate for Barcelona supporters by scoring the winning goal in the final.
Pedro came through the ranks at Barcelona when the team was at the imperious best under Pep Guardiola. Despite his five la Liga titles and three Champions League medals, Pedro has always been outside the limelight. The presence of Lionel Messi – and Neymar to a lesser extent – has contributed to the 28-year-old being less appreciated outside of the Catalan club. This move to Chelsea will be the perfect opportunity for Pedro to showcase his qualities. The pacey winger may provide a new dimension to Chelsea’s play, which has often been criticised for being too narrow.