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Pedro exit from Barcelona seems inevitable

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Pedro has spent ten years with Barcelona, and recently hit the 300 appearance mark, having contributed 97 goals along the way.

He’s won the La Liga title four times, the Champions League twice, is a World Cup and European Championship winner with Spain, two Copa del Reys, four Spanish Super Cups and the FIFA Club World Cup, and UEFA Super Cup twice. He was the first player in the world to score in six major club competitions in a single season; Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are the other two.

But for most of his Barcelona career, Pedro has been the odd man out, a victim of the numbers game, and perhaps a victim of his own personality.

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Fourth choice

Having to play second, third and now fourth fiddle to his Barca teammates over the past couple of seasons, the arrivals of players like Alexis Sanchez, Neymar and this season Luis Suarez, who despite some early struggles, has come good in the last few weeks. His £75m price tag, also suggests that coach Luis Enrique should play the latter on a consistent basis.

"Every year it's complicated to play here because I'm competing against the best players on the planet," Pedro said inn an interview with AS. "It's difficult to be 100 percent happy, but I feel comfortable here.”

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While he’s right that that he’s competing with the best on the planet in Messi, Neymar and Suarez, is it time for him to jump ship?

It seems like a formality.

The future

Pedro turns 28 in the summer, and while he could stay and compete for his place, the emerging and exiting talent of Munir El Haddadi, whom we saw a lot of in the early part of the season as Suarez was completing his suspension, suggest that the club will eventually part ways with the Spanish winger.

The club has also given the likes of 19 year old Adama Traore opportunities to impress early in cup competitions. So how does Pedro feel about it?

"Those [of] us who have fewer minutes want to play. I don't know if they'll ask me to leave," Pedro says.

"I'm happy here and I want to continue but I don't know what might happen tomorrow. We'll talk at the end of the season.

"We've been working the same as we always do but we're in a good dynamic in terms of results and morale. We are on a good run and we're all in good shape physically. Hopefully we'll have something to show for it at the end of the season."

It’s all well and good playing the team spokesperson, but when you know, the club and it’s fans know that you’ll no longer be a part of a club that raised you, surely that’s a heartbreaking ordeal to through.

His last season and a half has in effect been an audition for other clubs, and while he remains loyal to Barca and Luis Enrique, other clubs around Europe are undoubtedly salivating at the thought of such a decorated player on their roster.

But one wonders if Pedro wasn’t so gentlemanly about his situation and began to bang the proverbial drum sooner, he may be in a better place right now mentally.

For a club like Liverpool for instance, with the Suarez departure still fresh in the mind and somewhat of a hangover, plenty of supporters wouldn’t mind trying to recreate the infamous Sturridge and Suarez partnership with Pedro the replacement for the Uruguayan.

Difficult period

Pedro followed up his words with AS in a more recent interview with BeIn Sports where he quite honestly suggested that this season’s struggles had gotten the best of him.

"I am going through a difficult period," he said.

"It is clear that I am having a tough time to find a place in the team at the moment. I have had few chances to play this season.

"I will consider my options in the summer and will then talk with the club to discuss my future.

"But I am focused on Barcelona for now and keen to play my part. I must wait for my chance and take it when it comes."

An honest, and classy assessment from a player who obviously feels that he owes a huge debt of gratitude to his club, a club that has helped him ascend through the ranks. But the truth is you’ll be hard pressed to unearth any real loyalty in modern football.

Youth system

Pedro is a product of La Masia and he club continues to devote a significant amount of finance towards their esteemed training complex, bringing through the next generation of superstars.

But with increased foreign investment and sponsorships, there has been a shift in philosophy, the club is no longer producing its own talent on a consistent basis yet relying more heavily on the glitz and glamour big money signings from other clubs.

Don’t forget it was only until the mid-to-late 2000s that Barca began to break transfer records on an annual basis. The big money transfers used to supplement their youth production.

Were the signings of Thomas Vermaelen and Jeremy Mathieu really necessary, with young Marc Bartra developing nicely behind Gerard Pique and Javier Mascherano?

With a current transfer ban until January of 2016, will Barca once again try to hit upon the next gem from their youth system?

Legacy

Perdo, who has risen through the ranks at Barcelona, after moving to the club from Canary Island club CD San Idriso at youth level, becomes a free agent in the summer of 2016 and is unlikely to see out the remainder of his deal, which in a way is kind of sad.

In an era of supremacy in which he was among two of the greatest teams in football history with Pep Guardiola’s Barcelona and Vicente del Bosque’s national side alongside the likes of Xavi, Iniesta, Villa, Pique and Puyol; it’s difficult to surmise what his legacy will be.

He averages essentially a goal every three games, not a bad record, one which is probably healthier than the stats imply due to his reduced role in recent seasons.

The club’s transfer ban and financial fair play regulations may help their decision with regards Pedro. With Munir and Traore, Pedro appears to be stuck in limbo awaiting the conclusion of the season and renewed hope with a team that truly desires him.

Do you think Pedro should leave Barcelona?

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Topics:
Football
La Liga
Barcelona

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