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FAREWELL TO PEDRO: The most decorated player to have ever represented the Blues

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Arriving from Barcelona in the summer of 2015 with a wealth of experience to his name, and numerous trophies won on the domestic and international stage, Pedro wasted no time in making an impression.

Pedro’s Chelsea debut

A sodden Hawthorns was the venue for his debut, and within half-an-hour he had netted his first Chelsea goal and set up another, for Diego Costa, as we eventually ran out 3-2 winners.

Indeed, opening the scoring became a trademark of Pedro’s. Of his 29 goals for us in the Premier League, just under half (13) were the first of the game. It was a happy knack that pointed to his sharpness in front of goal and his instinct for the big occasion.

Pedro finished his first season in west London with 40 appearances and eight goals to his name. It was an underwhelming campaign for the team, but the diminutive winger was one of our brighter performers as he quickly adapted to the rigours of English football, regularly showcasing his speed and skill. On the training ground and in matches Pedro was the consummate professional; away from the pitch a jovial character with a big grin and a relaxed nature, all attributes that made him popular with players, management and staff alike.

Pedro the Premier League winner

His second season was his best in a Chelsea shirt. He featured in all but three of our Premier League games as we charged to the title in spectacular fashion, with Pedro a regular starter alongside Eden Hazard and Diego Costa in attack. He scored at crucial times in important home victories over Manchester United and Tottenham during our memorable 13-game winning run. The second of those strikes earned him the Premier League Goal of the Month award.

As we kept up the pace at the top of the table, Pedro continued scoring and assisting. One curled strike from outside the area against Swansea turned a tight contest in our favour, and made it eight goals in 11 games for the in-form wide man, who on occasion was utilised at wing-back.

Pedro was virtually ever-present in the run-in, and his final major contribution was a stunning strike at Goodison Park that moved us in sight of the title. It won him yet another Premier League Goal of the Month award.

Pedro had also more than played his part in our FA Cup journey, scoring in three consecutive rounds in wins against Peterborough, Brentford and Wolves. Defeat to Arsenal in the Wembley final meant he would have to wait to add that particular winners’ medal to his collection.

Pedro finished 2016/17 with 33 starts, 10 sub appearances, 13 goals and 12 assists to his name.

He featured more often off the bench the next season as the formation increasingly shifted away from 3-4-3, but he still made 28 starts including four in the Champions League. It was a competition he had already won three times at Barcelona, and it was his former club who knocked us out in the last 16. He received an amazing reception on his first return to the Nou Camp.

For the second year in a row, we reached the FA Cup final, this time with a happier ending. Though an unused sub on the day as Manchester United were beaten, Pedro had made a vital contribution in the quarter-final with an extra-time winner away to Leicester.

 

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