When Marco Veratti made a big money move from just-promoted-to-Seria A Pescara to French giants PSG, it took everybody by surprise, but soon people realized his true potential and talent and all of sudden comparisons with Andrea Pirlo started emerging. His is not an isolated case. There are several such talented youngsters in Serie A like Eric Lamela, Stephan El Sharaawy, Mattia di Sciglio and Marquinhos (to name a few) that have attracted wide interest and can make a move to other leagues. These youngsters have again proved that Serie A is a breeding ground of young and attractive talents. Pedro Obiang is also one such talent who has caught the attention of some big clubs.
Pedro Mba Obiang Avomo, better known as Pedro Obiang, is a Spanish Footballer currently playing with Serie A side Sampdoria. When Sampdoria got relegated to Serie B post the 2010-11 season (the same season that saw them missing out on a Champions League spot narrowly), it also saw a mass exodus of some of their star players (Cassano and Pazzini left Sampdoria during the 2010-11 season itself). But Sampdoria relied on its young recruits and academy players to reach the top flight in Italy in 2012. The reliance on academy graduates led Pedro Obiang to solidy his place at the heart of Sampdoria’s midfield.
Style, Strengths and Weaknesses
Pedro Obiang is a midfielder who normally plays either as a central midfielder or central defensive midfielder. Standing 6’2″ tall, he has a commanding presence in the midfield. He is imposing and can dictate the pace of the game. Further, he is brave enough to put his body behind the ball every time there is a duel, either aerially or on the ground. He is full of energy and never stops running. He also has a habit of testing the opposition keepers with his long range efforts.
He is always confident on the ball and doesn’t miss any opportunity to move forward. Further, he can often be seen causing problems to the opposition defence with his direct runs. He is a decent passer of the ball and doesn’t normally lose possession under pressure in the midfield. It is his physical dominance that allows the likes of Andrea Poli to dictate the game.
People can recognize him for his through ball to Icardi that ultimately lead to Sampdoria’s winner against Juventus, something which showcases his passing abilities. People may further appreciate his composure and man marking skills displayed against AC Milan, specially the way he completely neutralized the likes of Boateng and Montolivo. His long range effort against Inter that Handanovic somehow parried away from the goal also shows glimpses of his ability. He can be a priceless asset if properly groomed.
However, he has some weaknesses – specially discipline – as he has picked up 6 bookings in the season. His inexperience at the highest level can again be another of his weaknesses but the same can be overcome once he spends some more time at the midfield.
In the current season, Obiang has played 30 games and scored one goal and provided 5 assists.
A number of clubs like Manchester City, Barcelona and Tottenham are looking for his signature and are willing to prise away this asset. His physicality in the midfield with good ball playing abilities are something clubs are looking for and if a right offer is made, Sampdoria will be willing to let him go. He is priced around 7mn euros and thus can attract more suitors.Published 03 May 2013, 17:48 IST