It isn't the best birthday for Golden Boy winner Pedri, who has just been sidelined for the rest of 2021 due to a thigh injury that has been bothering him from the start of the season. The FC Barcelona midfielder turns 19 today, but it will be a muted celebration due to the bad news.
Newly-appointed manager Xavi Hernandez has been dealt with another blow as his options for selection keep getting whittled down. Pedri was being groomed to become one of the young talents that could usher in the new era for the club. However, the injury will hamper his progress into establishing himself as a pillar of the new generation.
He played a total of 73 games in all competitions in the previous campaign for Barcelona and Spain, and the club were convinced that he should commit his future to the Blaugrana. He recently signed a new long-term deal with the club, but he will now have to sit out several matches before being able to make significant contributions to Xavi's plans.
Nevertheless, the club and the manager decided to let him fully recover instead of forcing him to play, only to suffer further setbacks. He has only appeared in four games in the current campaign, and Xavi feels that the best approach is to start his recovery process "from scratch" according to AS.
The Barcelona midfield legend was made aware of the players' frustrations with the club's physios upon his arrival, and one of his first acts as manager was to bring in head of physiotherapy, Carles Nogueira. He is hoping that the new medical team will be able to prevent more injury setbacks.
Pedri is expected to return in the new year, and Xavi will be hoping that other injured players will be making their own comebacks soon. Fellow youngster Ansu Fati along with several other key players are also out due to various injuries, meaning Xavi's attempt to revive the squad is currently operating at a massive handicap. On top of that, Sergio Aguero has also been ruled-out long term and possibly permanently due to a heart condition.
When the January transfer window comes along, the Catalan giants will be hoping to reinforce their squad to ease the burden on the current players. However, their financial problems will be hampering their ability to complete transfers.