Barcelona legend Andres Iniesta has been talking about his former team and in particular 18-year-old midfielder Pedri who moved to the club in the summer from Las Palmas.
The youngster has been an instant hit at the Camp Nou and has already cemented his place in the starting XI despite his youth and lack of La Liga experience. Indeed Pedri and Frenkie de Jong are the only two players in the squad to feature in every La Liga match so far for Barcelona in 2020-21.
Pedri has already been likened to Iniesta by former coach Pepe Mel, and the former Barcelona midfielder has now had his say on the latest youngster to impress at the Camp Nou in an interview with La Liga.
It is clear that Pedri has a lot of potential. I believe that he is in an ideal place to continue growing, to continue exploiting his virtues. I wish him the best and the important thing is that he is calm, that people also leave him alone, because he is young and has everything ahead of him.
I know that it is a boy who is very well prepared and knows what he has to do and enjoys playing … I think the difference with him is that when he goes out on the field, he enjoys the ball and it doesn’t seem like he’s 18 years old; that is the important thing and that he continues to grow, because he sure has a great future at Barça.
Manager Ronald Koeman has also likened Pedri to Iniesta. He described the midfielder as “the biggest talent in Spain” and added “they say he’s going to be the new Laudrup or the new Iniesta” when he first arrived at the club.
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Pedri Discusses Iniesta & Messi
Barcelona certainly look to have picked up a bargain in Pedri. The youngster cost the Catalan giants just €5 million ($6.1 million), although Las Palmas president Miguel Angel Ramirez has claimed the fee could eventually rise to €25m, as reported by Marca.
Pedri has been happy to talk about how he’s adapted to life at the Camp Nou and the influence Iniesta has had on his career in an interview with the Associated Press.
I always loved Iniesta and his way of playing soccer, because of how he was both on and off the field. He has been my reference and I have tried to model myself on him.
The truth is that something must have stuck,. I think I have seen all the videos of (Iniesta) on YouTube. I never missed a game of his, so I guess some of it wears off. Maybe that is something I learned from Andrés, but the truth is that these are things that just happen on the field. If suddenly you hear Leo, you know you have give him the ball because he will create danger and end up scoring like always.
The young midfielder also talked about what it’s like to play with Lionel Messi at Barcelona. The two players seem to have developed great chemistry on the pitch which has led to suggestions the youngster’s emergence could help convince Messi to stay.
Pedri explained that Messi gives him advice but shied away from entering any discussions on whether the 33-year-old will remain after his contract expires in the summer.
He gives very valuable advice, on how you have to remain focused, on how to play in the spaces between the defensive and midfield lines. On whether he stays or goes, I don’t get involved in that. That is his decision and the only thing we can do is to help him while he is here, and hope that is for many years to come.
Pedri’s emergence at Barcelona has been refreshing, particularly as the Catalans have been guilty of bringing in big-name players in recent years that have struggled to live up to their huge price tags such as Philippe Coutinho, Ousmane Dembele, and Antoine Griezmann.
Little was expected from Pedri at the start of the campaign, but he’s gone on to become a key player for the Catalan giants and is one of the few positives to come out of what has been another difficult campaign so far at the Camp Nou.