Xavi dismisses suggestions Barcelona are dependent on Pedri

Xavi is a huge fan of Pedri
Xavi is a huge fan of Pedri / Soccrates Images/GettyImages

Xavi has denied claims that Barcelona have grown reliant on young midfielder Pedri, who produced his second consecutive game-changing performance in Sunday's 3-2 win over Levante.

The 19-year-old scored the only goal in last week's 1-0 win over Sevilla and helped Barcelona come from behind against Levante, coming off the bench to net his side's second goal and transform the game.

His return to fitness in January has coincided with Barcelona's upturn in form under Xavi, with Pedri winning eight and drawing one of his nine games since returning from a nasty hamstring injury.

After the game, it was put to Xavi that Barcelona have developed Pedridependencia - something which used to be reserved solely for Lionel Messi's Messidependencia - but the boss wasn't having any of it.

"I wouldn't say that," Xavi said.

"Look, he's an extraordinary player. Don't skimp on the praise for him. He's a player that excites me and one that can make a difference. He's scored a great goal [against Levante], but I don't think there is [a dependence on him]."

In fact, when given the chance to heap praise on Pedri and fellow young midfielder Gavi for their ability to change the game, Xavi made sure to divert the attention to some of Barcelona's unsung heroes as well.

"Frenkie [de Jong] and Nico [Gonzalez] made the effort as well," Xavi said. "That's what we all have to do. You can't always play beautiful football."