The Pedro transfer saga came to an end Thursday when the player was presented as the newest member of Chelsea Football Club. Pedro was rumored to leave FC Barcelona for better part of the summer, but the club linked with the 28-year-old Spaniard the most was Manchester United.
After United sold Angel Di Maria, many thought Pedro was the next signing, as manager Louis van Gaal keeps splashing the money. But instead, Jose Mourinho and Chelsea came in with a £21.1 million bid Pedro and brought him to Stamford Bridge.
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) August 20, 2015
“I am very happy to be here, Pedro said to chelseafc.com. “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 has a throng of titles from his time at Barcelona, including five Spanish La Liga titles, three Champions League titles, three Spanish Cup titles, four Spanish Super Cup titles, three UEFA Super Cup titles and two FIFA Club World Cup titles. He also has one World Cup title and one European Championship title with the Spanish national team.
So he will bring that winning mentality and culture with him to Stamford Bridge and inject some new life into a side that has looked pretty drab during the two opening games of the Premier League season.
Chelsea got a 2-2 draw against Swansea on Opening Day, and then got played off the pitch in a 3-0 defeat to Manchester City. Maybe it’s a championship hangover or that fact that Chelsea started preseason late, but it’s clear that the team is in desperate need of a spark plug like Pedro in the lineup.
Mourinho was interested in Pedro during the January transfer window, but since he was cup-tied for the Champions League having already played for Barcelona in the tournament, Chelsea went in a different direction and bought Juan Cuadrado from Fiorentina for £23 million instead. Cuadrado failed to put a mark on the team and didn’t even feature for Chelsea in the Champions League. He’s now up for sale and is rumored to be heading back to Italy.
Sid Lowe, noted writer for The Guardian has a spot on description of the speedy winger.
“His movement, in off the wing, is intelligent and his finishing crisp. He is calm, studies goalkeepers, and rarely hesitates. It is remarkable how often he is decisive. He may not be the most aesthetic footballer around but he has proven extraordinarily effective.”
Reports say calls from Jose Mourinho and Cesc Fabregas helped persuade Pedro into choosing London over Manchester, and it’s very likely that he’ll be given a starting role in the Chelsea lineup, something that might not be as given had he gone to United. And playing with his buddy Fabregas again surely is icing on the cake.
Pedro will likely slot in on the right hand side of the attacking midfield trio, and will provide even more offensive firepower in addition to Eden Hazard and Diego Costa. Pedro scored 99 goals in 321 games for Barcelona, so it’s not a far stretch to assume that he can chip in with 10-15 per season for the Blues.
Pedro signed a four-year deal after passing the medical exams in London on Wednesday and did his first training session with his new teammates on Thursday. It remains to be seen how long Mourinho will wait before putting Pedro into the starting lineup since he needs to learn a new system, but with the way Chelsea has started the season, it wouldn’t surprise me if it sooner rather than later.
Chelsea takes on West Bromwich Albion on Sunday, and Mourinho might gamble and throw Pedro in right away.