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Pedri is deservedly handed the mythical Barcelona No.8 shirt

On his own merit…

FC Barcelona v Cadiz CF - La Liga Santander Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

You would’ve thought that with all of the fanfare coming out of Camp Nou on Friday, a new signing was imminent.

Alas, culers will have to wait a few more days yet to see if the second financial lever can finally be activated and some new faces coming through the door as a result.

In the meantime, the bru-ha-ha was all over the symbolic handing of Barcelona’s No.8 shirt to Pedri.

It’s a number that’s taken on almost mythical proportions ever since it was vacated by Xavi’s former midfield partner in crime, Andres Iniesta.

Certainly, the symbolism won’t be lost on either Pedri or his manager, and the player expressed his delight during Friday.

Napoli v FC Barcelona - UEFA Europa League Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images

“I’ve always dreamed of wearing Barca’s No.8 and I’m going to defend it with my body and soul,” he explained.

“The fans like me and I want to return the favor. We’re building a great team.”

Whilst it’s accepted that the gesture is appreciated, having a different number won’t make him a better player.

Not to labor the point, but Miralem Pjanic also used the number recently, as have Albert Celades and Phillip Cocu in the past.

It’s only Iniesta’s incredible tenure whilst using the number that has really piled the pressure on anyone following in his stead.

Pedri will cope of course. He has to. Maybe it’s the fan base being so desperate to anoint another superstar who is comfortable taking on a talismanic role that elevates the wearer to God-like status.

Injury notwithstanding, it’s a given that it will be an enormous season for the youngster both for club and country.

It really isn’t an exaggeration to exclaim that the success of both sides will arguably be down to how well Pedri influences proceedings.

He isn’t the new Iniesta mind, and that does need to be stated time and again.

Could he reach those heights in due course? Very possibly. But let’s give him a chance to develop first.

To grow at his own pace so that we are able to enjoy his natural gifts for many, many years to come.

At least we can be assured that, in Xavi, Pedri has a manager with a deep understanding and appreciation of what he brings to he table.

That can only be good news for the Blaugranes as they seek to position themselves amongst Europe’s elite once more.

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