Pedro Chirivella is the latest player to be previewed in the ‘Who Is’ series. This article will explore Chirivella’s time at Valencia as well as at Liverpool.
After signing Sergi Canos in a long-term deal, many thought that Liverpool may not have invested in any more youth signings from Spain. However, they were very active signed midfieder 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, moved to Merseyside from Spain, but this time it was from Valencia instead of La Masia where Canos came from. The contract he has signed at Liverpool was 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. The deal also included 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.
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.
Chirivella scored 2 goals in 7 games for Spain Under 17s, scoring two penalties, one against Poland in a 1-0 victory and one in his 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 , 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.
Chirivella has played in the Liverpool’s Under 19 team in the UEFA Youth League and the Under 18s in their domestic season. With the addition of Chirivella, it is likely that Liverpool will adopt a 3-4-3 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.
Chirivella has seen his development rise through the roof with the Reds, with only injuries halting his progress. The midfielder, started off in the Under 18s before making his debut for the Under 21s in a 1-0 win at Stoke, when he was just 16 years of age. The Spaniard has been training with the first team on occassions this season as well as earning valuable European experience with the Under 19s in the UEFA Youth League.
Like most young prodgy’s at Liverpool, Chirivella has international experience. He started off in Spain’s Under 16 team, gradually rising through the ranks and is now captain of the Spain Under 18s. In the last year Chirivella did play for the Under 17s, making nine appearances and scoring twice.
He has been hailed as the next Xabi Alonso by many pundits in Spain, so will Chirivella live up to that and break into the first team.
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