HAVE CHELSEA FOUND THE MAGIC?
Cuadrado has left for Juventus on loan. The poor boy was bought by Chelsea from Fiorentina for just under 30million euros, but (without making any effort to mince my words) flopped wholeheartedly for London’s great blue “bus”. Many saw him as the player to provide magic on Chelsea’s right side, as Hazard did on the left. But that never happened. He even failed to flatter-to-deceive (I mean, “What a flop?!”).
Whereas Willian is widely acclaimed for his work rate and tireless running, he doesn’t really offer much in terms of creativity or moments of magic. Mourinho knowing this beat Manchester United to the punch (something he would do again) and brought on the Colombian to further boost his attacking options and provide the needed spark in the final third. Well, either he woefully miscalculated, or Cuadrado just wasn’t mentally tough enough to succeed, the poor boy flopped to the dismay of the watching eyes of the Stamford Bridge.
Enter Pedro, Barcelona’s humble hero (it’s amazing how Chelsea more-or-less picked the pocket of Manchester United for his signature). Tired of playing second fiddle to the adjective-defying MSN, he finally decided to leave for Chelsea. Seeking solace in the cold of England, and knowing with little doubt that he’s better than all Chelsea’s other attacking options (yes, even the awe-inspiring Eden Hazard).
Yes, Hazard has the potential to be one of the greatest players ever. Pedro is already in his prime, a proven winner, effervescent, electric, pacey, committed, and a diligent worker. Where Hazard trumps him for pure talent, Pedro makes up for with raw unrelenting desire to succeed, a keen eye for goal and most importantly a winner’s mentality (something he’s pumped full of after a decade in Barcelona and over twenty major trophies).
In Pedro’s debut against West Brom, I can safely say that we saw the future of Chelsea. Finally, after three tries this season, Chelsea’s attack found that spark. They attacked incisively and full of running, movement, purpose and ambition. It was as if Pedro by merely being on the field had unlocked the attacking prowess of Willian, Hazard, and more remarkably Diego Costa. “Pedro the petrol”, my friends chanted out as we watched the match together, totally surprised by how quickly the former Barcelona boy had settled into Chelsea’s very tactical and organized play, and the speed, and direct approach of the English Premier League (forgetting that Pedro’s best attributes are his pace, aggression and vision).
Was I surprised? No. Even in the Spanish La Liga’s closed technical approach, he still found space to run and impressed for many seasons particularly the 2010 – 2011 seasons in the icon blue and scarlet of the Blaugrana. I dare say, “Chelsea has found the magic.” Their attacking play has seemingly been sparked on by the dynamic and electric Pedro. If Pedro assumes this new found importance and responsibility and puts on a show as he did on his debut, week-in-week-out, Chelsea will definitely be the team to beat in this season’s Premier League.
Jose Mourinho has again proved to be a shrewd operator, and very intelligent indeed. He expects Chelsea to make a push for the Champions League. What better way to do it, than to bring in a three time winner to defuse that winning mentality into the dressing room. If all goes well, Chelsea might just add the Champions League trophy to the Premier League trophy come the end of the season.
Chelsea have found the magic.
Ebo | Sports Desk