Arsene Wenger picks out Pedro to bolster Arsenal attack
Arsenal (25/1 to win the Champions League) have been handed a significant boost in their apparent pursuit of Barcelona wideman Pedro. The versatile attacker has reportedly handed in a transfer request at the Nou Camp, after deciding to depart his boyhood club to seek further playing time and a starting spot.
Now 27, the Spain star is rumoured to be keen on finding pastures new in the Premier League, with Arsene Wenger heading the queue for yet another La Masia product.
Tenerife-born Pedro certainly fits into Wenger’s specific framework. Technically accomplished and with a strong team ethic, used to playing a possession based, short-passing style, the Spaniard would dovetail nicely with compatriot Santi Cazorla and former clubmate from Catalonia, Alexis Sanchez.
Integral to much of Barcelona’s build-up play, Pedro has much in common with the current Emirates attackers. Although he would likely slot seamlessly into the side, is he really what the Gunners need?
Sanchez has often been the difference-maker this term, but cannot do it all alone. Already overstocked in offence, Arsenal should be concentrating on bolstering their backline. If Wenger does feel he needs something extra up front, however, Pedro may not be the answer.
Undoubtedly talented and effective, the World Cup and Champions League winning wingman is not a consistent game-changer with the cutting-edge to be counted amongst the world’s best. With both Ozil and Podolski proving disappointing since their switches to north London, Arsenal do arguably require another player who can turn close encounters into victories on a regular basis.
If Wenger’s two German dynamos are to find themselves ushered to the Emirates exit in January, Pedro would be an able replacement. However, with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain grasping his chances to impress and Theo Walcott due back from injury, the mooted £25m price tag would be a lot to fork out for a forward who does not represent a significant step up in quality.
There is no shame in Pedro being lower down in a pecking order that boasts the likes of Lionel Messi, Nyemar and Luis Suarez. Arsenal, however, should be aiming to buy or produce stars of that calibre, not swooping for those who are surplus to requirements.
With the Gunners currently residing outside a Champions League spot, however, and having lavished large amounts over their past two summer spending sprees, Pedro may be the pick of the available crop.
As Barca are currently serving a transfer ban, interest from other parties and a reluctance to let a home-grown product go, could yet see the price sky rocket. Despite his patchy form under Luis Enrique, Pedro’s record of 19 goals in all competitions last campaign is certainly nothing to be sniffed at and could see Wenger open his wallet this winter.