On the 20th of August, 2015, Chelsea signed a little magician from Barcelona who goes by the name of Pedro. Following 321 appearances for his boyhood club, Pedro Eliezer Rodriguez Ledesma made the switch to the Pride of London. Jose Mourinho convinced the decorated Spaniard to join fellow countrymen Fabregas, Costa and Azpilicueta at the Bridge in a bid to aid our title defence, which was off to a woeful start. 43 goals, 28 assists and 206 appearances later, Pedro has confirmed that he will not be signing another contract extension, with his age getting the better of his ability to play regularly at this level.
The 33-year-old has been at the club for only about six years, but the tricky ambipedal winger will definitely go down as a cult hero if not a legend. The manner in which he carries himself is very professional, and is a great role model for the youngsters- his humility despite winning almost every major trophy is rare to find. Pedro also competes with Kante for the most likeable player at Cobham, as he is seen smiling in every single photo or video ever taken, and an innocent one with no villainy intentions. He is also comical, and this video of him dribbling the ball out of play without anyone being on him will never fail to crack me up.
He’s not all laughs and jokes though; he’s been an important figure in our title win 2016/17 under Antonio Conte, as well as our Europa League success under Maurizio Sarri in the last season. He also remains just one of five players to have won the Premier League goal of the month award twice since its introduction in 2016 (Hazard, Son, Townsend and most recently de Bruyne being the others). Let’s take a look at Pedro’s best moments donning the Chelsea kit-
Debut- 23rd August 2015, West Bromwich Albion vs Chelsea:
Three days after his move was made official, he was thrown into the starting eleven for the trip to Hawthorns, in a game where Chelsea had to win following a draw and defeat in the previous two games. Pedro lived up to the expectation- scoring a goal while also setting up another- and the famous chant “are you watching Manchester” was born, as he was very close to joining the Red Devils before ultimately choosing London as his destination. Chelsea went on to win the game 3-2, claiming our first victory of the new season. He ended the torrid season with eight goals and three assists in all competitions.
23rd October 2016, Chelsea vs Manchester United:
Chelsea had found their mojo back under new manager Antonio Conte, and a huge test lay ahead as Jose Mourinho returned to Stamford Bridge for the first time since his dismissal an year before. Pedro stepped up to the occasion and scored the fastest goal of the season in under 30 seconds, as Chelsea went on to humiliate the opponents 4-0, with the Spaniard notching up an assist as well.
26th November 2016, Chelsea vs Tottenham:
It’s always a special atmosphere when Spurs visit the Bridge, but this fixture was more hyped up by the fact that the last time the North Londoners visited SW6, a vicious 2-2 draw had seen Chelsea crown Leicester as historic PL Champions. The hosts fell behind to a thunderbolt from Eriksen, and looked vulnerable to conceding a second, when Pedro scored from a curling effort from right outside the box to equalise and give renewed hope to the faithful inside the stadium. Chelsea went on to win the match 2-1.
30th April 2017, Everton vs Chelsea:
With the title within reach, Chelsea visited Goodison Park looking to wrap up the title as soon as possible. However, it wasn’t going to plan and the game remained goalless for 66 minutes- enter Pedro Eliezer Rodriguez Ledesma. The winger received the ball and unleashed a peach of a strike from 25 yards out. The ball was destined to reach the back of the net from the minute it left his boot, and this goal opened the game up as Chelsea scored two more late on and remained just two wins away from clinching the title for the fifth time. Pedro finished the season with 13 goals and 12 assists, and this was undoubtedly his best season in Blue.
29th May 2019, Arsenal vs Chelsea:
After an uneventful 2017/18 season, Maurizio Sarri was tasked with being the man at the helm for the 2018/19 season. Pedro was in and out of the squad throughout the season and scored some fantastic goals against Arsenal, Fulham, Spurs and Watford in the league. However, he was excellent in the Europa League campaign, scoring five and further assisting three in 14 appearances. His performance in the final was outstanding, as he scored a goal and also won a penalty which was tucked away by Eden Hazard. Pedro’s goal in Baku saw him join another elite list of five to have scored in both the Champions League and Europa League final.
The 2019/20 season was a rather odd one for Pedro, and he scored his first league goal only in March when we defeated Everton 4-0. However, he has remained a fantastic professional, and has done his job whenever asked. His time at the club ended in a disappointing manner however, as he picked up a nasty shoulder injury in the FA Cup final when he was brought on for the injured Pulisic. Regardless, the World Cup winner leaves the club on the best possible terms with both the management and fans alike, and I’m sure everyone wishes him the best for the future, which is reportedly at Roma. Until we cross paths once again, we bid thee farewell our little Spanish magician.