By Adam Hern
- Angel Di Maria looks to be on his way to Paris St Germain
- Barcelona’s Pedro is rumoured to be a target for Manchester United
- Would the potential arrival Pedro stifle Adnan Januzaj progression
With it looking increasingly likely that Angel Di Maria is going to become a PSG player, it seems as though Pedro from Barcelona is going to come in to replace the Argentinian flop. Bad move.
Manchester United already have their own Pedro at the club, in the form of Adnan Januzaj. The young Belgian has been flirting around the first team for a couple of seasons now and this is the time for him to step up to the plate. After a brilliant performance against Barcelona in the friendly match in Santa Clara, Januzaj is finally proving his worth.
Under David Moyes, he was the one shining light in the darkest of seasons for the world’s biggest football club. True, in his second full season, under van Gaal, he struggled to establish himself in the first team. Now, with that bit more experience under his belt, and under the guidance of a squad full of world class players, it is finally the time to see him blossom on a more regular basis.
The Potential Arrival Of Pedro Will Stifle The Progression Of Adnan Januzaj
The potential arrival of Pedro in the left wing position will just stutter Januzaj continual growth. Of course, the addition would be welcomed by many fans. However, Januzaj has potential that is so strong it is frightening and he could easily surpass the abilities of Pedro in the future if allowed a continual run in the first team.
With the possible signing of Pedro, first team chances will be limited and there may be even fewer opportunities for him to be able to show exactly what he can do on a regular basis. Januzaj has made it clear that he doesn’t want to go out on loan. Why would he? He is fully dedicated to Manchester United and is desperate to be a success at the club. A success is exactly what he will be, given the chance.
Pedro is a world class player. He has played an integral part in Barcelona’s recent success. You don’t continually get offered new and improved deals at Barcelona if you are a bad player after all. Nor do you become a member of World Cup and European Championship winning squads at international level by not being up to scratch.
Spain have such strength in depth, that for every player not pulling their weight, there are at least five or six others in every position waiting for a call up. Even the sceptics about his signing wouldn’t be too distraught should be join the club. However, the fact is Manchester United should be promoting youth. At 20 years old Januzaj has already featured for the first team more than some youngsters could even dream about.
He just hasn’t had the same constant run in United’s first team as Raheem Sterling had at Liverpool. Van Gaal himself often talks about the importance of players having a match rhythm. This is the reason why he is not afraid of putting players who are out of favour or coming back from injuries, namely Falcao, Robin van Persie and Victor Valdes into the Under 21 squad on a regular basis last season.
There is of course a difference between gaining match rhythm in the Under 21’s and in the first team. Januzaj needs to play many more matches for the Manchester United first team. Pedro’s presence makes it unlikely for him to be able to do just that.
A lot of money has been spent on Memphis Depay. £31 million is a big investment for a young player you is yet to prove his worth in the Premier League. His link up play with Wayne Rooney during pre-season has been extraordinary at times. Against Barcelona, the combination of the two of them was enough to make a Manchester City supporter’s mouth water.
With Depay in form it is unlikely that Januzaj will get ahead of him in the starting eleven for the first match of the upcoming season against Tottenham Hotspur. With Ashley Young performing well and loitering around the starters and Juan Mata as United’s right midfielder, Pedro is likely to push Januzaj even further down the pecking order.
Angel Di Maria initially signed because there was a lack of pace and direct threat down the left wing at United. Pedro is a bit less direct than Di Maria and prefers to come inside more and exchange passes with teammates. That is the Barcelona and Spain way of course, so it remains to be seen exactly how he will fit in with van Gaal’s much heralded philosophy, if he were to join as expected.
Will it work? Will he do a Di Maria and disappear after one season? Only time will tell. United supporters just have to hope that Pedro’s signing will be good for the long term future of the club.