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Koeman heaps praise on fan-favourite Barcelona youngster: “He is perfect”

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In a recent interview (h/t Football Daily), former Barcelona manager Ronald Koeman has revealed how the club were open to loaning Pedri out in 2020 but he was convinced of the teenager’s ability after just a couple of training sessions.

Barcelona had signed Pedri from Las Palmas in 2019, before Koeman’s arrival and had sent him back to his boyhood club on loan. So, when the midfield prodigy returned to the club in 2020, aged just 17 at the time, Koeman admits that he knew very little of the youngster at the time.

And, Barcelona reportedly told the Dutch tactician to see how things go with the young midfielder in pre-season to assess whether he can be a part of the team or needs to be sent out on loan again.

“When I came in I didn’t know him, they had signed him from Las Palmas. The club was talking to me and said ‘You do the pre-season and see what Pedri can do in the team, if not we can put him out on loan’,” he claimed.

And Koeman adds that he was convinced of Pedri’s ability in just two training sessions after which he told the club that the teenager will stay put, while also adding that he might even be in the starting XI in the near future.

“After two training sessions, I said to the club that he will stay and I’ll not be surprised if he plays as a starter in a few weeks,” the former Barcelona manager stated.

As it would turn out, in a matter of weeks, Pedri would go on to start his first game for Barcelona in La Liga against Getafe on October 17 and would also start a week later in El Clasico against Real Madrid.

Heaping further praise on Pedri, Koeman added: “Pedri is fantastic, he is an incredible talent and at that age, I think he is still 18 or 19, he is perfect. He is technically good, he has a good feel and he is a normal human being.”

Without a doubt, Pedri was one of the positives to come out of Koeman’s era as manager of Barcelona. The Dutchman backed the teenager in 2020 and also handed first-team debuts to the likes of Gavi, Nico Gonzalez and Alejandro Balde during his time at the club, all of whom are now permanent fixtures in the side.

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