A potentially generational talent, Pedri kept Thiago Alcantara out of Spain’s starting XI during their involvement in Euro 2020, and comparisons to Andres Iniesta are clear.
Liverpool will therefore be aware of their supreme level of ability, and have probably been for some time. But to what extent would it be realistic that a transfer to Anfield, mentioned in the columns of gossip for a few months, turns out to be correct?
ESPN Barcelona correspondent Samuel Marsden told ECHO in a Barcelona and Spain special edition of the Blood Red podcast that this might be more plausible than it first appears.
” I do not think so [possible Liverpool interest in Pedri] is a worry for Barcelona, just because of the attraction that Barcelona have, ”Marsden said.
“But I don’t think so [losing one of their top young talents] would be completely out of the question.
“The three that are special – Ansu Fati, Pedri and Ilaix Moriba – are all negotiating new contracts but it’s a strange situation.
“There is no complete clarity on Ansu – who is now represented by Jorge Mendes – or Pedri’s contracts, so in theory their two contracts expire next summer, in 2022.
“They were announced last summer with a two-year option, but the message coming from each side is a little different, so I don’t know if Barcelona can exercise the options unilaterally, or if the players can veto them. , so there are some complications there.
“Barcelona don’t want to sell any of these guys, but we’ve talked a few times about their financial problems and their need to get rid of the players.
« [The money] could only come from a Premier League club, but – speaking in a totally hypothetical way, and I expect Pedri to stay at Barcelona – if a club came in with £ 100million and couldn’t not sell Antoine Griezmann and Philippe Coutinho and they are stuck with them, getting rid of Pedri would not help the payroll, but it could bring in a big sum.
‘We know the situation is bad but we don’t know how much, or whether they should consider a £ 100million offer or whatever, but that’s not completely out of the question as it might have been. be in the past. “
Pedri is the one linked with Liverpool, with a Gini Wijnaldum-shaped hole in their squad to fill.
And the player, who became the second youngest to play 50 times for Barcelona a few months ago, and who at 18 has made more appearances than any other Barcelona player last season, is playing at a level well below. over his years.
“People always seem surprised that Pedri hasn’t been through Barcelona academy given that he looks like such a ‘Barca’,” Marsden continued.
“But he only came from Las Palmas last summer and even last August when he first arrived for the preseason there was talk that they had a decision to make on him.
“At first it was like ‘if team B gets promoted to the second division, maybe he’ll play for team B’, or maybe he’ll be loaned out somewhere.
“But he was absolutely amazing and if people hadn’t realized how good he was during the season with Barcelona, everyone woke up with him with the national team at Euro 2020, where he was probably the most consistent player in Spain.
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“He’s definitely not playing like an 18-year-old and every time I open Twitter there’s Fabio Capello or someone congratulating him and talking a lot about him.
“Pedri has the talent to be among the top five players in the world over the next 10 years. “
No player covered more ground than Pedri at Euro 2020 until Spain was knocked out by Italy in the semi-finals, and, above all, he has the confidence of all his teammates.
“The interesting thing with Barcelona’s best young players now [including Pedri] it’s that they all have a special relationship with Lionel Messi on the pitch, ”explained Marsden.
“Sometimes you look at Messi and you can see that he prefers to give the ball to certain players – Jordi Alba, on the left, for example, and there is a reluctance to give it to others.
“But he’s gelled really well, especially with Pedri, this season. “
In the past, it has been Barcelona who have poached Liverpool’s top talent, with Luis Suarez and Philippe Coutinho two obvious examples.
Perhaps now, however, the economic tide has turned enough that a role reversal can take place – Pedri’s stock only continues to rise.