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Manchester City: Pedri turned down Etihad Stadium move in favour of Barcelona

Manchester City: Pedri turned down Etihad Stadium move in favour of Barcelona

Spanish teenage prodigy Pedri rejected the advances of Manchester City because he wanted to instead sign for Barcelona.

The print edition of Catalan newspaper Mundo Deportivo reported [via Sport Witness] that the 16-year-old Las Palmas attacking midfielder had been courted by the Premier League champions, among other clubs, and had reportedly been scouting him.

However, according to Mundo Deportivo [via Sport Witness], the teenager has instead chosen to join Barcelona in 2020, citing his father’s and grandfather’s links to the club as a factor in his decision.

Manchester City’s apparent interest in Pedri can be traced back several months. In April this year, Canarias7 claimed [via Sport Witness] that the Premier League club had sent scouts to watch the 16-year-old and they had filed a very positive report on him, believing that he would adapt readily to Pep Guardiola’s style of play.

A compilation of the midfielder’s moments in a YouTube video by SportVideosMM indicates that the Spaniard is a player who can escape tight pressure from opponents with a quick turn and close ball control, jink his way past opponents, play pinpoint long-range passes and score from outside the penalty area, as well as winning the ball off the opposition.

Capable of playing on either wing, as an attacking midfielder or as a centre-forward, Pedri has had an impact for Las Palmas in his first campaign with the senior side, scoring three goals in nine La Liga 2 games so far this season, including two since the start of October. [via TransferMarkt]

While the teenager seems to be showing plenty of promise, a move to Manchester City may have been counterproductive given that Guardiola has been slow to use young players in bigger matches.

In City’s first 12 matches this season, only four teenagers have been used, with Phil Foden, Eric Garcia, Taylor Harwood-Bellis and Adrian Bernabe featuring for just 335 minutes between them. [via TransferMarkt]

In 2018/19, Guardiola gave senior game time to eight teenagers in City’s 61-game season, but when Foden’s 1,107 minutes are excluded, the other sub-20s played for a combined total of 1,056 minutes. [via TransferMarkt].

Contrast that with Barcelona, where 16-year-old Ansu Fati has already played for 231 minutes and made six appearances for the first team this season, and it’s understandable why Pedri decided to turn down Manchester City’s advances, as he would likely have found game time very hard to come by at the Etihad Stadium.

Manchester City fans, what are your thoughts on Pedri’s decision to snub your team’s interest in favour of Barcelona? Let us know by commenting below!

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