Reigning Premier League champions Chelsea recorded their first win of the new season at the third time of asking by overcoming West Brom 3-2 at The Hawthorns on Sunday, with debutant Pedro catching the eye in the visiting attack.
After a forgettable start to the new campaign both on and off the pitch for the West London outfit, the Spain international’s capture has deflected some of the negative press and his first outing for the team is reason for optimism.
It took the former Barcelona man only 20 minutes to get his first goal for his new club, while he also created Chelsea’s second striker with an assist for Diego Costa.
The right-hand side of the Blues’ midfield has become something of a poisoned chalice over the years, with the likes of André Schürrle, Kevin De Bruyne, Mohamed Salah and most recently Juan Cuadrado signed at great expense only to fail to hold down a regular place.
Although the Colombian has been farmed out to Juventus on a season-long loan, the Blues are not short in the position with Brazilian pair Willian and Ramires both proven performers.
However, it is clear to see that Pedro looks like a superior option and will be first choice for José Mourinho’s men on the right flank.
Despite his success at boyhood club Barcelona, the World Cup winner always carried the ‘impact substitute’ moniker with him at Camp Nou, with recent seasons in particular seeing the Spaniard start fewer and fewer games.
A run of consistent action at a top club is nothing less than this exciting star deserves and the signs are there that he is set to be a revelation at Stamford Bridge.
His lightning pace has been well documented over the years but it became painstakingly apparent against the Baggies that having the Spaniard in the line-up would make the Londoners a lot swifter when breaking on the counter attack.
To peg Pedro as simply a fast winger would be to do him a disservice, as the 28-year-old displayed some immaculate touches despite the wet weather and he is clearly sharp despite not playing huge amounts of football over the last 12 months.
His presence will give Chelsea penetration in the final third that has been missing so far this season, while he has proven over the years that his final ball and delivery is excellent.
Pedro certainly fits into the ilk of a Mourinho player, with his work on the back foot to win the ball as dedicated as that when his team has possession.
The most ominous thing from the new man’s debut was his link-up play with Eden Hazard, with the pair striking up an understanding almost immediately.
The Belgian has been tasked with delivering single-handedly on plenty of occasions at Chelsea, but it now appears that the former Lille star has a player of the highest calibre to play off.
The Spaniard’s presence on the right suggests that Willian will be shifted in-field on a more permanent basis, with the playmaker seemingly set to battle it out with countryman Oscar for a starting berth in the Blues team.
One way or the other, with Pedro’s assurance and ability deputising for a lack of faith in Cuadrado, Chelsea look like a much more dangerous team, with the Spaniard set to star for the champions this season.