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The star Liverpool are looking for was born in the Canary Islands just like Pedri

By Charles Cornwall

The star Liverpool are looking for was born in the Canary Islands just like Pedri

Another teenager on a very similar trajectory has recently come onto the radar of both Liverpool and Arsenal. 

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Las Palmas, the island’s Gran Canaria principal team, has a storied history. It is a firm part of the Spanish footballing pyramid: quite the away trip for other sides, but no less worthy of inclusion as a result. In its heyday, it finished as high as second in La Liga. It was in the top flight as recently as 2018, and is now seeking a return, having finished fourth last season.

For the emerging generation of football fans, Pedri has put the island and the club on the map. The Barcelona starlet was plucked from Las Palmas after an education in the academy and a full season in the first team. He has since gone on to establish himself as one of the most precocious talents in world football, admired by Liverpool and just about every other top side.

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Pedri is far from the only Canary Islander to make the voyage to the mainland. David Silva was snapped up by Valencia early, but spent his formative years on the islands. Vitolo, who made his name at Sevilla and Atlético Madrid, was forged in the Las Palmas academy. Sandro Ramírez, of Everton fame (or perhaps infamy), is cut from the same cloth. Roque Mesa, another one to have previously cropped up in the Premier League, was born on Gran Canaria too.

Many more will surely follow. Alberto Moleiro, an 18-year-old attacking midfielder, has been courted by Barcelona. Between the twin islands of Tenerife and Gran Canaria, the somewhat unlikely talent production line continues to churn out exciting names.

Yeremy Pino

Another teenager on a very similar trajectory has recently come onto the radar of both Liverpool and Arsenal, according to Sport. Seeing how well the likes of Pedri have done. The player in question is Yéremy Pino. Separated from Pedri by little over a month, the 19-year-old also came through the ranks at Las Palmas. But he left earlier on in his progression, wooed by the pathway presented to him at Villarreal — his ascent in La Liga has been more gradual, but he looks to be on a similarly impressive trajectory.

Indeed, Barcelona wanted both of the Canary Island natives. Long before Pedri joined, they sought to sign Pino, but he snubbed La Masia in favour of the Yellow Submarine. That in itself speaks to a very interesting player: the famous Catalan academy is a hard prospect to turn down, but he chose his own distinct path.

The decision has paid dividends, with Pino now firmly a part of the first-team setup at Villarreal. Last season was his major breakthrough: he appeared 31 times in La Liga, entrusted with a starting berth on 21 occasions.

A right-winger by trade, it is tempting to say that FSG might be eyeing up Pino as a potential future heir to Mohamed Salah. But the winger is fairly heavily right-footed, and in any case would be hitting his prime long after Salah and indeed Jürgen Klopp have left Liverpool. The system could have changed radically by then. It seems more likely that the club are keeping more generic tabs on him, simply because of his clear talent.

A tally of seven goals last season was helped by an incredible four-goal haul against Espanyol. But he also found the net in the Champions League, and laid on two assists against Atlético Madrid. As he establishes himself further, there looks to be clear scope for his output to improve.

With a release clause of €80m (£67.5m), a transfer would not come cheap. Nor does it help that Liverpool will be inclined to wait before making a move, while Mikel Arteta (via Sport Bible) has actively suggested that Arsenal have not finished their summer business. 


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