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Keep, Sell, Loan: Pedro's 2015-16 season in review

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Taking a look at the good, the bad, and the ugly of each and every Chelsea player's season. Next up, Pedro, who chose Blue over Red.

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports


Appearances: 30 starts (+10 as substitute).
Minutes: 2043 in Premier League; 278 in domestic cups; 294 in Champions League.
Statistics (per 90 minutes, Premier League): 42.7 passes attempted (84% completed); 0.31 goals scored (no penalties); 2.52 shots (1.08 on target).

After a hugely successful decade at Barcelona, then 27-year-old Spanish winger Pedro Rodriguez wanted to try something different.  After a season stuck behind the trio of Messi, Neymar, and Luis Suarez, he wanted something more.  After a terrible Chelsea season, and after an uneven season for him personally, whether he got everything he had hoped for is debatable.

Pedro of course claims that he has no regrets -- he did manage roughly 700 more minutes this season than last -- and at times he was preferred ahead of Oscar and even Eden Hazard as well.  But he often failed to live up to this ideal of Barcelona/La Masia perfection (even though Pedro's not quite a Barca youth product, only joining them from Tenerife at age 17), and the excitement of gazumping Manchester United for his signature.

Lest we forget, Pedro was all set to join Louis van Gaal's Army, but Ed Woodward was haggling over some inconsequential aspect of the deal, so Chelsea swooped in like a boss and made it happen.  Mourinho did his magic Jedi phone call thing and Pedro was ours.  And for a reasonable price, too, around £20 million, which in today's transfer climate is almost a bargain, especially for a proven winner like the Barcelona "lucky charm".

Three days later, Pedro made his debut.  A goal and an assist later, we had our first win of the season at the fourth try (including the Community Shield) and perhaps renewed hope that the early-season blip was just that, a blip.  Of course it wasn't, and Pedro wouldn't replicate that debut performance for many, many more months.   On the plus side, Pedro's arrival did signal another step-up in Willian's performances (as the Brazilian had done with every new challenger to his right wing spot), starting him on his way Chelsea Player of the Year accolades.

For Pedro, things started to improve when Guus Hiddink took over. Eden Hazard's hip injury in December gave the new arrival more consistent opportunities, and he saw plenty of time deployed on the left wing, too.  His eight goals and a few assists have gone a bit under the radar, but while they were both career-lows for him, they did often pop up at crucial times.

The Good: Pedro's brace at home on February 13th as Chelsea defeated Newcastle United 5-1.

The Bad: His "disappearance" from the pitch every so often.

The Ugly: His baffling tendency to turn the ball over in midfield on the simplest of plays and passes, such as the error against West Bromwich Albion for their first goal of a 2-2 draw at the Bridge in January.

Verdict: Pedro brought to Chelsea a bit of incisiveness and directness that had been missing from our group of attacking midfielders and forwards.  He showed this straight away on his debut, but then struggled to keep it going, possibly as a result of not quite managing to adapt to the day-to-day rigors of the Premier League.  Especially after a title-winning season, there were no teams who simply allowed Chelsea to be on the ball all day and operate with impunity as it can so often happen for Barcelona in Spain.

With a season under his belt and showing glimpses of excellence not just in attack but in pressing and defense as well, there's every chance that Pedro has a better season in store for him.  His versatility is an added bonus and he's capable of providing true wing-play on either flank.  A lot will obviously depend on Antonio Conte's schemes and strategies, but Pedro should remain a man of many minutes, just as he had envisioned when he left Barcelona.