Liverpool had already added Sergi Canos to their ranks on a long-term deal, many thought that the club may not have choose to invest in any more youth players thus transfer window. However, the Reds have been very active and have completed the signing 16 year old midfielder Pedro Chirivella – beating off competition from Manchester City and Barcelona.
Described as ‘the best talent to come through the ranks at Valencia in years,’. Chirivella operates as a central midfielder – despite possessing attacking talent – he usually sits deep and has been fondly compared to Barcelona star Sergio Busquets and former Liverpool fan-favourite Xabi Alonso.
He made his Liverpool debut alongside fellow Spanish recruit and Liverpool starlet Sergi Canos as a substitute on the 23rd of July 2013 in an U18s 4-1 pre-season friendly victory over Birmingham. Chirivella was able to sample some early success early in his Liverpool career as he captained the U17 side that lifted the Milk Cup Globe during August of 2013.
In 2011, Chirivella was close to joining Spanish giants Barcelona after Valencia accepted a bid from the Catalonian club, but Chirivella himself turned down the chance to join them. This may have been a choice from the heart as he had played for Valencia since the tender age of just 5 and wouldn’t want to play for one of his club’s rivals.
The contract Chirivella has signed with Liverpool is a five-year deal worth in the region of £250k p/y, showing that the Merseyside giants are willing to spend big money on the future of the club. Chirivella is a versatile player who can also contribute – if needed – in a more attacking role but is naturally more effective in the deeper positions. He has represented Spain at a national level in the U15s, U16s and U17s squads (he has even captained the U17s team).
[As of August 2013] Chirivella has scored 2 goals in 7 games for Spain U17s, two of the goals coming from the penalty spot, one against Poland in a 1-0 victory and one in a 3-2 defeat to France.
Penalty taking is not the only quality the Spaniard holds; he has the ability and influence to control the pace and tempo of the midfield despite only turning 16 in May. Chirivella has very accurate passing ability in short and long ranges in a reminiscent way of a young Xabi Alonso. These passes may prove to be crucial for the Liverpool youngsters next season as the Spaniard may hold the key to unlock the door to many attacking opportunities.
It’s probable that Chirivella will be playing in Liverpool’s U19s team in the NextGen Series and with the U18s in the domestic run. With the addition of Chirivella, it’s likely that Liverpool will play two deeper midfielders the upcoming season with Rossiter being one and Pedro being the other.
Chirivella is very comparable to a young Englishman who goes by the name Will Hughes (for an easier, more familiar comparison). Often Chirivella will make runs that can cut defences in two, weaving his way past defenders and creating space for himself to unleash a shot, similar to Hughes this isn’t a main part of his game but it certainly is something he keeps in the locker.
Check out this goal from the man himself:
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