Why Pedro can flourish under Maurizio Sarri’s reign at Chelsea
New manager Maurizio Sarri’s team look confident going forward and stoic in defence. More often than not, new managers find it difficult to swiftly acclimatize themselves to the Premier League but so far, Sarri’s Blues have looked good. A number of players have been playing at the top of their game as well.
Chelsea won their last two games without Eden Hazard in the starting line-up, allowing Spaniard Pedro to start both times and pop up with goals. The former Barcelona man, who currently earns wages in the region of £100,000-a-week, must aim to revitalize his career under Sarri this season.
Sarri seems to have adopted his favoured 4-3-3 formation at the club. And in both instances, Pedro played as a right-winger and flourished in Sarri’s high-intensity system.
Deployed on the right flank, the former Barcelona winger was given the license to push forward at will and provide ample supply to Alvaro Morata. Now that Chelsea play four men at the back, Pedro need not worry about his defensive work as much as before.
In Antonio Conte’s reign, Chelsea played a three-man centre-back system which requires the wingers or wing-backs to track back constantly. But in Sarri’s system, the full-backs can provide cover while Pedro stays forward. The Spaniard must continue to support the defence at times but his added freedom will allow the player to express himself more often.
The 31-year-old has averaged 3.5 shots in both games and boasts a pass success rate of 89.1%. He was devastating against Huddersfield Town and Arsenal, marauding up and down on the right flank. (Stats courtesy – Whoscored)
Furthermore, Sarri’s tactics allow the wingers to switch flanks during the game in order to trouble the opponents and disrupt their plans. Pedro was often seen shifting to the left-wing while Willian pushed to the right. This allows the Spaniard to cut in from the left and play the ball through the centre. Pedro is brilliant with his ability on the ball and loves taking on defenders.
With Hazard set to return sooner rather than later, we could see Willian lose his role to the Belgian. The Hazard-Pedro combination is one that has worked in the past and under Sarri, the Spaniard has a chance to reignite his career.