Pedro to Chelsea: A United fan’s view

It’s tough to be a Manchester United fan right now. Chelsea hijacked Pedro, or United let Pedro go. No one knows exactly what happened but many United fans are upset. Rival fans are having a field day. Just look at Twitter.


However, the following are the thoughts of one United fan in particular who is seemingly quite happy with the way things have panned out. Read on.

By Brent Billing

I am an Executive Recruiter by trade and as such I have clients that recruit talent from a position of strength, and those that are forced to over-pay.

United’s transfer policy as one of the largest clubs in the world should be straightforward – develop internally, buy young, buy for a specific niche or buy top end talent at the apex of their careers.  To me Pedro is neither young, nor good enough to warrant attention.  Please allow me to step onto the soapbox.

Under the Moyes era, we were recruiting from a position of weakness; as such, we overpaid for Fellaini and Mata and failed to land the top-end player we wanted (Bale).  Fast forward two years and we are in now in markedly better condition. Depay is a perfect example of the type of talent that warrants our attention – young and mouldable at a relatively affordable price.  Assuming he plays on the left, his only natural internal competitor is the 30 year old Ashley Young.  Pedro to me, is an above average footballer – but at 27 (and assuming he takes a year to assimilate into the rigors of the Premier League) is he a marked upgrade on Adnan Januzaj?  Was his La Liga performance such that we could bank on him not being another Di Maria?

Big clubs do not sell players they do not want to leave.  Ronaldo and Stam come to mind as the only recent United players that left before their sell-on date.  If Barcelona truly valued Pedro – would have they gone after Suarez and Neymar?  Would his buyout clause have been changed recently to only 20-odd million?

The Premier League has lost its soul – that being the development and linkage between academy and first team.  Name a Chelsea player (save Terry who was in the first team long before dirty Russian money came along) who has come up through the academy ranks?  United need to give Januzaj, Perreira etc. an opportunity and ensure that if they do buy, it fits the above criteria – either younger or a world class talent.  It sends the wrong message to buy good players to knock back your own good players.  How does Patrick Bamford at Chelsea feel after knocking in 17 in the Championship only to see Falcao signed as backup to Costa?  If I am a Chelsea academy player do I really have a future at a club that has bailed on Ryan Bertrand, Josh McEachran et al?  We cannot become the Chelsea of the north.

In the case of Rojo, Blind, Herrera, Shaw, Schweinsteiger and Schnedeirlin an argument could be made that no natural internal youngster was in that role.  Blackett and Mcnair are not generational talents – I think both will join the David Jones, James Chester, Ryan Shawcross list of good players we have produced. Decent Premier League players but not United players.  Schweinsteiger at 5.5 million pounds (as revealed today) is 3 years younger than Carrick and thus represents true value. 

Pedro is a good player – no debate – but the presence of Januzaj makes his purchase surplus to requirements.  His age and ability are such that he should not trump a 20 year old academy graduate.

It is my belief that we are a top class striker away form competing for the Premier League title.  Failing to land that means that we should consolidate our position as a top four club, get to the knockout stages of the Champions League and maybe make a deep cup run.  Pedro only halts the growth and development of one of our own and does not do anything to elevate our status within the league.  Bale yes – Pedro no.  Muller yes, Pedro no.  LVG made the right call.


Brent Billing is a diehard Red Devil supporter who lives and works in Waterloo.  His  favorite past times include delivering 1980’s newspaper clippings to Liverpool supporters so they can feel good about themselves and reminding Chelsea supporters that the current manager of Leicester was the manager of their team before they became fans.  Doting father, Executive Recruiter but most importantly diehard Red Devil. He’s new to Twitter so make sure you follow him @billingbrent

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