It's a rather unusual mix of nationalities which makes Pedro Obiang the player he is today—both Spanish and Gabonese—but undoubtedly he benefits greatly from his dual nationality.
Despite being born in Alcaca de Henares, a town in the capital Madrid, Obiang is not your typical Spanish player. Coming through the Atletico Madrid academy which produced the likes of Fernando Torres and David De Gea, it's no surprise that Obiang's ability on the ball is largely down to the way he has been trained in the La Liga club's academy.
Built like a building at 6'1", his powerful frame allows him to mark his presence in the midfield for his current employers, Serie A Sampdoria, and works tirelessly for the full 90 minutes. Hard to believe then that Obiang is just 20 years old, having moved to Italy aged 16 in 2008 after rejecting Atletico's professional contract offer.
If you're looking for a player to compare Obiang too, you would be searching for a long while. The highly-rated youngster, despite playing in central midfield, is similar to Yaya Toure in stature, but his tough tackling attributes liken him to a Nigel De Jong type of player. And he's not a bad passer either, so you may as well throw in Sulley Muntari while you're at it.
With bags of potential, Obiang could represent Spain's national team, having already played for their Under-19 side, although he may have his work cut out breaking through the golden generation of Andres Iniesta, Sergio Busquets, Xabi Alonso and Xavi.
Even worse, the players lined up to replace them when they retire are of a high standard too, with Thiago and Javi Martinez a couple of examples of the quality in depth that Spain possess.
After four years in Italy, Obiang could be set for a move back to Spain, with the 20-year-old keen to boost his chances of making a name for himself in his homeland with the starlet not short of admirers. He's made 37 appearances for Sampdoria already, but with the Serie A side struggling to make any sort of impact in the league, a move seems likely in the summer if not in January.
Chelsea and Manchester City are the latest sides to express an interest in the wonderkid according to the Daily Mail, with Rafa Benitez lacking in depth in midfield after Oriol Romeu was ruled out for the season, while Citizens manager Roberto Mancini is unhappy with the performances of his side.
However, a bid of £10 million may not be enough to secure Obiang, who Sampdoria would surely fight tooth and nail to keep in Italy.
That being said, if he continues to impress at the Genoa-based club, the chances of Obiang making his way towards the exit at the Luigi Ferraris appear more likely. Time will tell if he can keep his head down and work towards becoming more of a finished article, but one thing is for sure; he's heading in the right direction.
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