Pedri: What the advanced data says on the wonderkid?

Category: New Talents

The 18-year-old midfielder has finished the season with more than 4,300 minutes (if we exclude the Olympics) after convincing both Ronald Koeman and Luis Enrique. We have analyzed his impact in depth and compared him to creative midfielders from 1996 and 1997

Published:28/07/2021

Occasionally we all see the rise of young midfielders who have a greater influence on the game than any of the others. Since winning its first World Cup in Johannesburg (2010), Spain has produced a number of promising playmakers. None of them have finished establishing themselves in the way that was expected years ago, neither in their clubs nor in the national team. And of course all of them have been far from offering the regularity of profiles such as Xavi Hernández or Andrés Iniesta. In 2021 it has come the turn of Pedri González, a boy born in Tenerife in 2002 and who was signed by Barcelona last summer. Although it seemed most likely that he would be loaned out to a team in the lower half of LaLiga, Pedri managed to convince Ronald Koeman and then Luis Enrique. He has finished the season with more than 4,300 minutes played and in just twelve months his price on the Transfermarkt portal has gone from 7 to 80 million euros. There is no doubt that he has become one of the most interesting promises of European football, but what do the advanced statistics say about his performance? Is he as good as everyone says?

Pedri is a midfielder who ranks clearly above average in all the parameters of ball-handling, passing or build up. And for that reason we have not used our common performance radars. In order to go a step further, we have analyzed some of his figures and compared with those of some creative midfielders who are 5-6 years older than him. In the chart below we see several performance indicators of Bruno Guimarães (Lyon), Nicolò Barella (Inter) and Dani Ceballos (Real Madrid; playing at Arsenal the last season). The averages take into account both league matches and European matches competition if there were. Although there are differences between the numbers of each one (partly because of their individual roles), what we see is that all four show a certain balance between being efficient and getting involved in plays which end in a shot. Pedri can improve in different areas, but his average in the build up of xG per 90 minutes (0.71) is already truly high and and confirms how quickly he has adapted to Barcelona.

It is also quite significant his low percentage of bad actions (actions which causes the loss of possession) (15.4%) if we consider the high volume of ball touches he makes at Barcelona. In this particular parameter Ceballos and Guimarães lead the comparison, although his game is role in the ball distribution is a bit more conservative than Pedri’s. Barella has the highest percentage of turnovers, but also generates more danger than the others in the final metres, with more than 2 passes into the opponent box per 90 minutes. The Italian midfielder has performed at a very high level at the EURO, a competition in which Pedri has shown a major influence than he had had during the campaign at Barça.

In a team with possession rates similar to Barcelona’s but with more difficulties in moving forward, the midfielder from the Canary Islands has managed to unblock a lot of Spain’s attacking sequences. He actually has increased his average of ball progressions per 90 minutes from 11.1 to 17.5. In addition to that, he has completed a stunning percentage of his long passes (90.3), being placed within the best players of the tournament in that parameter or in others more complex such as Passing Contribution. Pepe Mel, former coach of Real Betis or West Brom and who trained him at Las Palmas, said a year ago that he reminded him of Iniesta. Will Pedri be another promising youngster who falls by the wayside or will he stay among the elite for many years?

We are Driblab, a consultancy specialized in football analytics and big data; our work is focused on advising and minimizing risk in professional football decision-making in areas related to talent detection and footballer evaluations. Our database has more than 180,000 players from more than 180 competitions, covering information from all over the world. Here you can learn more about how we work and what we offer.

Autor: Antonio Durán
For New Talents we also recommend you:

Copinha 2022: where the best talents shine

As the first round of the Copinha gets underway, we unveil and analyse some of the best U20 talents in Brazilian football, an endless place of talent.

Eliteserien 2021: the best under-23s

After the end of the Norwegian league, we look back at the best U-23 eleven and analyse some of the most outstanding players.

A new monumental poker

River Plate have done it again. Los Millonarios are enjoying a new generation of youngsters of enormous quality, with Julián Álvarez and Enzo Fernández leading the way.

Championship alert: top U-23 centre-backs

We delved into the Championship to find the best U-23 centre-backs in the competition, based on comparative performance and impact on their teams.

‘Progressive Passes’: who gives them and who gets them

With Progressive Passes and Progressive Passes Received we can go further and make visible those players who look forward and those who, with their backs turned, know how to position themselves to receive behind the defensive line in front of them.

The goal-man in maroon

Lanús is fighting for the title in Argentina thanks to the emergence of José Manuel López, the most effective striker in the entire Argentinian Primera. We analyse his growth and his best qualities.

DACH: Die Besten U23 Talente (German)

Wir werfen einen Blick auf die DACH-Wettbewerbe (Deutschland, Österreich und die Schweiz), um die besten U23-Talente in jeder Meisterschaft zu finden.

The best U21 projects in Serie B

We take a look at the most exciting U21 talents in Italy’s Serie B. A look at the future of Italian football through some of its most promising players.

I migliori prospetti Under 21 della Serie B (Italian)

Diamo un’occhiata ai talenti U21 più interessanti della Serie B italiana. Uno sguardo al futuro del calcio italiano attraverso alcuni dei suoi giocatori più promettenti.

How to identify great talent in unsuccessful teams?

How to spot talent and performance in lower level teams? We explain how Driblab’s tools help in scouting.

Driblab

Información corporativa

Somos una empresa con sede en Madrid fundada en 2017 por Salvador Carmona y Cristian Coré Ramiro. Desde nuestros inicios nuestro trabajo se ha centrado en el análisis estadístico de datos para ayudar a los clubes en la planificación deportiva. Somos una consultora big data que ofrece servicios personalizados para cada cliente y defiende un modelo de gestión mixto y una comunicación constante para acompañar el día a día de las instituciones. Nuestro punto fuerte es la más amplia cobertura disponible en número de torneos profesionales y juveniles. Para más detalles, póngase en contacto con nosotros.

Colaboramos con:

           

Hemos aparecido en:


Talk to our speciali