Pedro had a difficult first season at Chelsea, with generally middling performances on the pitch, seemingly finding it difficult to adjust to a new country and new league after spending most of his career in Barcelona. Exit rumors were not far behind, some coming as early as January even. Yet, Pedro decided to stay and both he and team are getting rewarded for it.
His second season is shaping up to be a much different, much better affair, especially as he's become one of Chelsea's key men over the past couple months.
"I am enjoying my football more and I am very comfortable on the pitch and with my team-mates. This is the way. Things are going good for me, I’m scoring goals and I want to continue like this. I am full of confidence and this is the way I want to be playing for Chelsea. But I will take it game by game."
"Am I glad I stayed at Chelsea? Yes. I am showing what I can do in a Chelsea shirt. But everyone is playing well and putting in good performances. We want to keep this form going. We have won seven straight games and it’s a very good moment for us, for the team and the supporters."
"We could enjoy the win over Tottenham for a couple of days but we must work very hard during the week ahead of playing Manchester City because it’s a big game for us."
Barring any major surprises, Pedro will make his seventh consecutive league start on Saturday at the Etihad, against a team managed by none other than the coach who gave Pedro his opportunities to make a name for himself at Barcelona. Guardiola not only coached Pedro in Barcelona B, but he also promoted the winger to the first-team a couple years later, by which time he had taken over as Frank Rijkaard's replacement.
"Antonio [Conte] is a good coach, a strong guy with good ideas of football with a strong character. He has a good mentality and has very good ideas. He likes to press high and for the team to be compact."
"Of course Pep is a very good coach also. He was very important in my career. I want to see him again on Saturday but this will be a difficult game for us. I don’t know if Manchester City will win the League under Pep or whether we can stop him. I just know it will be hard for us and the most important thing is to prepare."
Pedro has faced Guardiola twice before, in the 2014-15 Champions League semifinals as Pep and Bayern lost to Barca 5-3 on aggregate. Pedro only got to play 45 minutes over the two legs, indicative of his lack of involvement that led him to transfer to Chelsea the following summer.
While he is likely to play more than that on Saturday, he won't be the only threat that Chelsea should be able to pose to the Premier League title-favorites.
"It is a pleasure to play with Diego [Costa] and Eden [Hazard] but we are a team. Victor [Moses] was very good against Tottenham, he’s on fire and has been very important, too. When it’s not Eden or Diego there is another player to make the difference and that is very good for us."
-Pedro; Source: London Evening Standard
Pedro only has three goals on the season, but it feels like a lot more. We will need him and all the others to be firing on all cylinders to collect all three points on Saturday.
Pedro has been involved in 8 (3 goals & 5 assists) of Chelsea's goals this season in 12 appearances (WhoScored)— The ThugFather (@_LeKido_) November 26, 2016