Chelsea are expected to announce the signing of Barcelona forward Pedro today after triggering a €30 million release clause in his contract.
The 28-year-old was originally expected to sign for Manchester United, but after Louis Van Gaal cooled on the deal it appears that Jose Mourinho has acted fast to secure his man. The Spaniard will fly into London for a medical with contract terms already agreed. With the Old Trafford club instead opting to try and lure Thomas Muller to Manchester, it appears Pedro is Chelsea-bound.
Mourinho is known to be a huge fan of Pedro, and even tried to land him in the January transfer window but reneged on the deal because the winger would have been cup-tied for the 2014/15 Champions League.
A Case of the Blues
Pedro’s signing couldn’t have come at a better time for the Blues, who are currently experiencing their worst start to an EPL season since 1998. Following a drab draw with Swansea on the opening day of the campaign, they were dismissed with ease by Manchester City in their first major test.
This saw the Stamford Bridge club’s odds to win the Premier League lengthen significantly with the bookmakers – going from 3.00 to 4.50 in a matter of hours. Manchester City are now the hot favourites, and are as short as 2.10 in some circles.
So can Pedro help to fire his new teammates to glory?
The one thing that Pedro will bring to Stamford Bridge is a rich history of winning. He has got his hands on 15 winners’ medals in his time at the Nou Camp, including numerous La Liga and Champions League titles. He is also a World Cup and European Championships medal owner.
And that experience will stand him in good stead in London, especially as this Chelsea side looks a little light in attacking areas. Diego Costa is injury prone, Loic Remy is thought of more as a super sub and Radamel Falcao’s stock has fallen significantly since he moved to England last summer. Pedro will add goals and creativity where they are needed the most.
Whilst not a natural line leader, the Spaniard can flitter between wide positions and the ‘number 10’ role. He should dovetail with the likes of Eden Hazard and Cesc Fabregas nicely.
But can he score the sheer weight of goals that Chelsea will need to help them overcome their terrible start to the season? Only time will tell. But at 28, Pedro is just coming into his prime.
By: Craig Simpkin