Pedro Chirivella – The next Xabi Alonso?
After signing Sergi Canos in a long-term deal, many thought that Liverpool may not have invested in any more youth signings this summer. However, they have been very active and reportedly have signed their second player in the form of 16 year old midfielder Pedro Chirivella – beating off competition from Manchester City and Barcelona.
In 2011, Chirivella was on the verge of joining Barcelona after Valencia accepted a bid for him, but Chirivella himself turned down the chance to join the Catalan giants, possibly because the midfielder has been at Valencia since he was 5.
Chirivella, like Canos, moves to Merseyside from Spain, but this time Valencia instead of La Masia where Canos came from. The contract he has signed at Liverpool is a 5 year deal worth in the region of €300k a season, showing that the Reds are willing to spend big money on their Academy and the future of the first team. There are reports that the deal will also include accommodation for his family as well as the best possible education available, suggesting that that this why the deal is €300k a season. Chirivella will be the fifth Spanish youngster in recent years to move from Spain to Merseyside at a very young age after the signings of Dani Pacheco, Daniel Alaya, Suso and of course Sergi Canos.
As I said before, Chirivella is a midfielder who opts to play in a more defensive role, hence why he has been compared to Sergio Busquets and former Liverpool player Xabi Alonso. Unlike these defensive midfielders, Chirivella can also contribute in attack, and if needed will play a more attacking role but is naturally more effective in the defensive midfielder position. He has also represented Spain at Under 15, Under 16 and Under 17 Level, and has even captained the Under 17 national team.
Currently, Chirivella has scored 2 goals in 7 games for Spain Under 17s, scoring two penalties, one against Poland in a 1-0 victory and one in their last game in a 3-2 defeat to France. Other than penalty taking duties, Chirivella also has many other qualities.
Firstly, he has an ability to control the pace and tempo of the midfield despite only turning 16 last month, meaning he has the potential to work well with fellow defensive midfielder Jordan Rossiter and have the chance to decide when to attack and when to defend. Like most talented midfielders, Chirivella has a very strong passing ability at both short and long ranges, hence why he is being compared to Xabi Alonso, as Alonso was exceptional with his long passes and caused problems for any team.
It is likely that Chirivella will be playing in Liverpool’s Under 19 team in the NextGen Series and in Steve Cooper’s Under 18s in their domestic season. With the addition of Chirivella, it is likely that Liverpool will adopt a 4-2-3-1 formation next season with the Under 18s, with Chirivella and Rossiter being the defensive midfielders, and Phillips, Canos and Trickett-Smith playing ahead of them. Chirivella also has very good awareness and can make runs that can split the defence in two, and more importantly when he makes these runs, he also can end the move well and find the back of the net.
Due to Chirivella being just 16 years of age, there is limited information about the midfielder so this is all I know about the young Spaniard so far, but with the current information I have, it is quite clear that Chirivella has a promising future ahead of him at Liverpool.
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