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Review on Pedro, Tello and Salah
Before I start, I have not heard from any source that we will be signing any of these players but Salah and Tello are heavily linked and Pedro has been too.
Salah (FC Basel) - personally the player i think we will actually sign when a deal can be struck. Mohamed Salah is an Egyptian right winger. He is 21 years old and stands at 5ft 9inches tall. His stronger foot is his left. I have watched him closely since his name was first mentioned. The link suprised me if I'm honest as I cannot remember too many Egyptians playing in the Premier League. I think Mido for Tottenham and Middlesborough is the most memorable and then probably Zaki who had a short stint at Wigan. Egypt rarely produces players talented enough to make the grade in the Premier league. However, Salah is an exception. Despite his tender years he has already put Tottenham and Chelsea to the sword in European competition; proof he can mix it up against English teams. He is very good at running with the ball aqnd loves to get at his full back. His agility helps him turn defenders inside out twisting left and right. He is also quite skillfull. When he does get round his defender though he has the ability to whp in very dangerous balls. He's also quite good at cutting inside though and joining in with the fancy one/two touch passing around the box. His best weapon though is his pace. He is very fast and great at getting on the end of through balls. However, as with all young players, there are some glaring flaws in his game. His first touch is the worst. His touch can often be heavy or lazy and he relies to much on his pace to then beat the defender to his own attempt at control. It's something Rodgers could work on though I'm sure. He isn't very good with his right foot either though. He rarely uses it when dribbling or passing and can't really shoot/cross with it either. He is also very weak. He would need to bulk up a bit (think Assaidi/Aspas). I would also like to see him work on the power behind his shots as well, although if you can be accurate enough, this is not always important.
Statistically he is very good. He has 11 goals and 7 assists this season in 2188 minutes of game time. Thats a goal every 199 minutes and an assist every 313 minutes. For a 21 year old, that is good.
His career stats are similar with 52 goals and 35 assists in 11145 minutes of football (a goal every 214 minutes and an assist every 318 minutes). So he seems to already be consistent, he just needs to improve on those averages and he can become a great player.
Tello (FC Barcelona) - According to Macca we want Tello on loan. There is a reason for that too! Christian Tello is a Spanish attacker who can play on the left, right or through the centre. At 22 years old and 5ft10inches in height, he is slightly older and slightly taller than the previously mentioned Salah. His main strength is obviosuly his speed if any of you have seen him play. Don't get me wrong, Salah is fast, but Tello is like supercar. He accelerates increadibly quickly and when he is in full flight, I'd hedge my bets only a couple of players in Europe could catch him. However, he needs to work on his dribblnig. He tends to just put his head down and sprint knocking the ball anything up to 10 yards in front of him at a time. An Experienced defender would use this to easily dispossess him. When he does get down the flanks he's is very good at getting right to the end off the pitch before cutting the ball back with a low drilled cross. His weakness as a winger is that he cannot cross it normally. You will rarely ever see him floating one to the back post or whipping a lethal cross through the 6 yard box, that just isn't his style. He is a massive fan of the stepover and isn't too shabby when it comes to the tricks and flicks. He often uses them to come inside and bend a finish in the far corner. He's actually a very good finisher and you can see why he thinks he could play through the middle. His shots are very tame a lot of the time though, and for that reason, when he fails to find the corners, it can look a bit pathetic! For me, he cuts in far too often and needs to stop being so greedy. You could argue though that he is just trying too hard to get on the scoresheet so he can get more playing time. His passing ability isn't great, but having come through La Masia its also not bad! He does prefer his right foot, but he isn't scared of trying with his weaker foot.
Statistically he hasn't been great this season, but most of his minutes have been cameos off the bench. In 497 minutes of Football he has 1 goal and 3 asssists. No prizes for working out his minutes per goal ratio, but he averages an assist every 166 minutes. That is a much better assist ratio than Salah, and Tello also plays in a stronger league. However he also plays with better players. Overall in his career he has 28 goals and 16 assists in 5952 minutes. Thats a goal every 212 minutes and an assist every 372 minutes. So his stats aren't too disimilar to Salah which is too be expected of two players at a similar age playing similar positions. A lot of Tellos minutes have come as a late sub though and it's hard to get into a game in just 15-20 minutes. He did get a lot of game time in the B team though.
Pedro (FC Barcelona) - I really can't see this one (unfortunately) but rumours persist so I'll review him anyway. Pedro Rodriguez is another product of the famed La Masia. At 26 years old he should be at the height of his career but has seen his game time reduced by the arrival of Sanchez and Neymar for large sums of money. The sad thing is Pedro is better than them both. Unlike Tello and Salah who are merely speedy wingers, Pedro is much more of a complete forward. He stands at a tiny 5ft6.5inches tall, but it is his technical ability and awareness that makes him so deadly, not his physical capabilities. He has an incredible ability to take a ball in his stride or to cushion it perfectly for himself to shoot or pass instantly. When it comes to his passing he also has great awareness of his team mates and their runs and once he spots the run, he has the vision to play the slicing pass as well. He makes these runs as often as anyone else though and when he gets through or finds the space to shoot his finishing is precise and powerful. Whilst he is not a speed merchant, he is still quicker than the average full back and his feet are even quicker allowing him to beat his man without the fancy tricks. The only thing he lacks to be a striker his the strength to hold up the ball and haeding ability. It is for that reason why he is more suited to an inverted wide forward role or in the hole behind the main man. What makes him so hard to stop though his the fact he is virtually 2 footed. Although he is stronger on his right foot, showing him onto his left won't help the defenders as he can hurt you just as easily with that as well!
So far this season he has 15 goals and 6 assists in 1672 minutes of football. That is a goal every 111 minutes and an assist every 279 minutes. You can see from this he is much closer to the finished article than the two younger more direct players. Throughout his career he has scored 96 goals and claimed 55 asssits in 17323 minutes. thats a goal every 180 minutes and an assist every 314 minutes so the scary thing is, at 26 he is still improving! this season he is close to averaging twice as many goals as his career average and about half a game less to record an assist. If we could land Pedro it would be a statement of intent to our challengers, but i think he is still getting enough game time at Barcelona to warrant staying there till at least the end of this season. I don't see it happening, but they are welcome links in my opinion!
I hope you enjoyed reading, and thank you for your time (my apologies for spelling and grammar as I've just typed this up in my half hour lunch break at work and don't have time to check it through).
20 January 2014
Love your player reviews, very in depth and helpful for forming opinion-
To be honest I'm not taken by Salah because for a pro attacking player his touch is awful, but that said he does have a proven scoring record against Chelsea so who am I to belittle him?
Tello would be great- on a permanent signing, but honestly I have a hatred of loans as, in particular those in the BPL, if the loanee is a roaring success it just aids a rival!
Pedro I would be happy with but also wary of overpaying. For £20m or less though I think he'd be a good buy and add a new threat to the team, but not convinced the tempo and power of BPL would suit him whatsoever. Does anyone know the time left on his contract?
But with Spurs being linked with a £30m summer move for Reus I'm surprised we haven't been! He's made for us it seems, and at that price is a steal, but, in all honesty, why would he join either of us when Bayern, Real and Barcelona would all be interested come any indication of availability?!
20 January 2014
Very good read Adam, cheers bud!
Salah, realistically the only one likely to arrive out of the 3 I would imagine. From what I've seen of him (which If im honest aint much) he is slight, however his showing against them english teams in Europe shows he is capable of holding his own, which against chelsea is impressive as they are as physical as teams get! The club are playing it right when it comes to his valuation and what se are willing to pay as there is no guarantee this young guy would make an impact immediately (drawing the usual dribble of abuse from some apes of supporter's such as the muppets that pop their heads on this site) or certainly no guarantee that he could handle the pace/intensity/physicality of the premier league on a weekly basis.
I won't pretend to know the ins and outs of contacts or the full details of thrashing out transfer negotiations but surely there's a way the clubs can agree a price that includes add-ons based on performance and appearances etc?
Its not a signing I believe will make or break our season but if he could hit the ground running after a january transfer like coutinho did, it could prove a good buy as if suarez/sturridge hit a dry patch the we will need every goal we can get!
Will be interesting to see who from our first squad are sold in the summer to be replaced! I really do hope for a couple of the young lads to get a little more cup game time soon aswell (Ibe/Rossiter/McLaughlin). These may just save us spending some unnecessary money before next season.
Sorry for the very long and not so interesting ramble, I start and then cant shut up haha
20 January 2014
Great post and thanks for the info