The Barcelona player who has surprised me the most is Pedri, says Koeman

Martin Macdonald
Martin Macdonald Updated: 17 May 2021 22:22 BST 2 min read
The Barcelona player who has surprised me the most is Pedri, says Koeman

Barcelona head coach Ronald Koeman says Pedri is the player who has surprised him the most since he was appointed boss of the Blaugrana in the summer.

Following the dismissal of Quique Setien, the Dutchman was brought in to attempt to steady the Barcelona ship ahead of he new 2020/21 campaign.

Although he has not been given the funds required to make the large-scale changes to the playing squad that he would have liked, his team, which features in a 4-2-3-1 formation instead of Barca’s usual 4-3-3, has a different feel to it.

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  • One player who did join was Pedri, whose transfer had already been agreed the previous summer. The 17-year-old arrived with a burgeoning reputation from Las Palmas after his exploits in the Spanish Segunda, where he became the club’s youngest ever goalscorer at the age of 16 years, nine months, and 23 days when he scored versus Sporting Gijon.

    The youngster has made 10 appearances so far for Barca in the 2020/21 season and was trusted enough by Koeman to start the Clasico against Real Madrid.

    Pedri himself probably wouldn’t have expected to feature so much in his early days at the Camp Nou, but his overall attitude, talent, and workrate has impressed Koeman, according to the manager.

    “Especially for not knowing him more, the player who has surprised me the most is Pedri,” the former Netherlands boss told Mundo Deportivo.

    “I knew that Barça signed him from Las Palmas and had seen images of his game, a bit, but I think no one expected his improvement, his career so far.

    “At the age of 17, playing and training with the best footballers at Barca, with the performance he is giving, is to be happy.”

    This week Barcelona received the news that Ansu Fati will miss up to four months of action due to a knee injury, which will no doubt lead them to relying on Pedri even more into 2021.

    The Tenerife-born playmaker will turn 18 on 25 November.