What has been a truly memorable year for Barcelona wunderkind Pedri could turn more special in the coming months.
The 18-year-old, who was signed by the Catalans in 2019 before being loaned back to boyhood club Las Palmas, has enjoyed a stratospheric rise to stardom upon returning to Barca. Pushed right into the thick of things by Ronald Koeman, even though he was only 17, the Spaniard repaid the faith shown with a string of impressive displays, quickly establishing himself as a regular in the starting XI.
Even though the minutes seemed to catch up with his young body by the end of what was a gruelling campaign, Pedri had done more than enough to become one of the hottest prospects in European football, having even managed to break into the national team during the international window in March.
In 52 appearances for Barcelona in 2020/21, the teenage prodigy managed to score four goals and set up six more. Now, Pedri is out there strutting his stuff at the UEFA Euro 2020, helping Spain make it all the way through to the semi-finals. The 18-year-old has been one of the most impressive players in the continental tournament for La Roja so far.
Pedri for the Golden Boy 2021?
The fact that the Barcelona youngster has played a total of 509 minutes out of the 510 possible for Spain at the Euro 2020 highlights the trust and confidence that manager Luis Enrique has placed in him. And, as reported by AS, his exploits at the Euros, coupled with his breakthrough season at Camp Nou, have put Pedri as the frontrunner for the Golden Boy 2021 award.
One among the three Barcelona players shortlisted for the prestigious award, along with Ilaix Moriba and new signing Eric Garcia, Pedri is now said to be the favourite to win the honour that was bestowed upon Borussia Dortmund’s Erling Haaland last year.
The report further adds that Pedri’s closest competitor, at this point in time, is another Dortmund ace in Jude Bellingham. However, unlike the Spaniard, the Englishman has hardly been used in the Euros, featuring for just 30 minutes for the Three Lions.
At club level too, Bellingham played fewer minutes (2821) in comparison to Pedri (3526) and was directly involved in two goals fewer than the Barcelona starlet, while both won domestic cups with their respective teams. So, as things stand, the scales are tipping in favour of the 18-year-old Spanish international, with other competitors like Eduardo Camavinga, Mason Greenwood etc., well behind.