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LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA — Only five days have they shared the dressing room and training pitch, yet it has been more than enough for Pedri to see the brilliance of Ilkay Gündoğan.
"He's a sight to be seen. We've all seen him play with Manchester City, and now I've had the chance to watch him during training sessions as well. It's quite the spectacle to see how he turns and never loses the ball," declared the Canarian during the media gathering held this Friday at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum ahead of Saturday's clash with Juventus.
On a more personal note, Pedri admitted that one of his challenges this season is to evade some of the injuries he has suffered in previous years.
"This has been a summer where I had plenty of vacation to work on my physical conditioning. I've had some injuries that prevented me from enjoying what I love most, which is football," he explained. "I've put in a lot of strength training, as advised by the Club, and it has helped me a lot," he added.
Regarding his individual performance, Pedri also acknowledged that he still has room for improvement in "many aspects," such as the number of assists he provides.
"Last season, I had very few assists, and it's something I need to work on. Xavi has urged me to get into the box more," he said.
As a team, Pedri believes they are now stronger with three experienced players "from whom we can learn a lot of things." He said that Iñigo Martínez, Oriol Romeu, and Ilkay Gündoğan "are signings that will be very beneficial for us," while also recognizing that it will be "difficult" to replace the absences of Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba "because they were two big pillars, on and off the field."
When asked about the new captains of the first team, the Canarian footballer explained that "both Ronald Araujo and Frenkie de Jong deserve it because they are leaders both on and off the pitch."