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Koeman: I knew Pedri would be great after two training sessions

The Dutchman has been talking about the talent teen

Levante UD v FC Barcelona - La Liga Santander Photo by Eric Alonso/Getty Images

Former Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman has been talking about his time in charge of the club and how he insisted Pedri stayed at the Camp Nou despite receiving offers from elsewhere.

The midfielder was a relative unknown when he signed for Barcelona and there was speculation he could be sent out on loan with Bayern Munich keen on the teenager.

Koeman said he realized Pedri’s quality after seeing the midfielder train twice and made it clear to the club they could not allow the youngster to leave.

“In Pedri’s case, it was impressive because I remember when I signed the contract with Barça and they told me about him, and I didn’t know him. In the first two training sessions I knew he was going to be a great player. I saw enough of Pedri in two training sessions,” he said.

“In that pre-season I said that I had to leave him in the team because Barça had offers for him to play a year away. But I said ‘Pedri is not moving from here, because I think he will be a starter soon’. And it was like that.”

Pedri went on to become a regular in his first season at Barcelona, winning the Copa del Rey and claiming a silver medal with the Spain team at the Tokyo Olympics. The midfielder also subsequently won the Kopa Trophy and the Golden Boy Award in 2021.