We have always questioned Barcelona's spending habits. Paying 75 million euros (plus 11 million in variables) for Frenkie de Jong could be, based on the performances he's offered so far, a very fair price... he's still only 22. However, how much would he have cost at 16? A tenth of the price, for sure. Or less.
The key would have been to discover De Jong when he was a kid and not an international star. Although no one can guarantee that a kid of 16, still developing physically, personally and on the football field, will end up as a star. But that is the difficulty in detecting talent. And that is what Barça did in the past with Lionel Messi. And that's what they have done now with Pedri. Ignoring, of course, the current differences between the Argentine and the Canary Islander.
Barça paid five million euros for Pedri in the summer to seal his signing from Las Palmas, where he remains on loan. He's a player that, despite being a teenager, had a 30 million euros release clause. The Blaugrana knew how to negotiate and took advantage of the Canary Island club's financial situation to sign one of Spain's brightest talents at a decent price -- there are add-ons, mind.
Pedri will join Barça B next summer, in theory. We will see how he develops. We will see where he arrives. what he's shown this season (in the U17 World Cup with Spain and in the second division with Las Palmas) suggests he has a huge future ahead of him. If that is the case, five million euros will prove one of Barça's best investments in recent years. And, if unfortunately he doesn't end up a star, there won't be much money lost. It is, without a doubt, a controlled risk.