Manchester City’s summer business is yet to really click into gear and their high profile targets seem to be slipping away. Paul Pogba looks to be on his way to Barcelona, Kevin De Bruyne’s future is seemingly in Germany and Raheem Sterling’s move is stalling and dragging, despite the Reds’ own moves.
Pedro, linked with the Citizens of late, has been marginalised even further at Barcelona with the signings of Neymar and Luis Suarez and the Spaniard looks a long way from even competing for a starting berth. In fact, Pedro’s best chance of a regular place is, probably, a Suarez ban for some insane behaviour.
Despite signing a new contract, it is likely the Spain international could be lured away from the Camp Nou if more starts were offered. Even with only 15 league starts last season, Pedro still managed six goals and six assists – the sort of end product that City sometimes find hard to come by.
Notably, Manchester City are often short on width and rely heavily on their overlapping full-backs. When Pablo Zabaleta and Gael Clichy/Aleksandar Kolarov are more restricted the game becomes severely cluttered in the centre, and breaking teams down increases in difficulty. Jesus Navas was signed to be the answer to this, but even with his electric pace his end product is often disappointing – he failed to find the net at all last season.
Pedro would bring a different approach to Navas’ and is more of a wide goal-scorer than creator, as he shows regularly at Barcelona. However, it is not just Navas who has been tasked with providing width at City, as previously James Milner was often used in a wide role. In failing to retain Milner for the 2015/16 campaign, City have lost not only a massively versatile player, but one of their more natural wide men.
Although Pedro is not a wide player in a traditional sense himself – do not expect to see him with chalk on his boots – he is could bring more width to City’s attacking moves than the likes of David Silva and Samir Nasri.
City are at risk of becoming further reliant on Silva if they are to use a 4-2-3-1. Edin Dzeko and Stevan Jovetic are both likely to be sold and the revenue could be used to fund a move for Pedro, who will allow tactical flexibility and bring goals from deeper in the team. While Manuel Pellegrini wants to stay with his 4-4-2, City often look at their best in a 4-2-3-1 and Pedro would fit perfectly into that system, while allowing Silva to pull the strings in the ‘No.10’ position.
With the move for Sterling still alive, Pedro could play on the opposite flank and allow their most creative force, in David Silva, to play in between the lines and create for Sergio Aguero. The cost of signing Pedro is far outweighed by the benefit of the extra goal threat, particularly when Aguero gets his regular injury.