Born with the innate capacity of perpetually controlling the game’s tempo, Jandro Orellana is a uniquely talented player. Even more, he found himself at the right place to evolve and develop his already existing skillset. Yet it’s the final stretch to first team football that he’s not managed to overcome, to no fault of his own.
Positional pivots are a rare, even extinction-threatened species in the modern game. More than in any other role or position, inborn qualities are required. Players like Busquets and Guardiola had a metronome situated in their core since the 1st day of their lives. This is one of the primary reasons that made them so especial. But total control over the opposition is not something you can establish by a sense of the tempo alone. Scanning of the surroundings, positioning and proactivity are intrinsic to spatial, and thus in-game command.
What differentiates positional pivots isn’t sensational passing or ball-carrying ability. It’s their one-in-a-million intelligence and situational judgement that define their influence on the game. There are so many prerequisites and intricate details that positional pivots need to satisfy that it isn’t difficult to perceive why they are extremely rare and valued.
For years, Barcelona have tried to find a proper replacement for Sergio Busquets, but to no avail. Jandro Orellana is our best, and perhaps our last opportunity to develop a positional pivot to fill in the void that is to soon appear. Their playing styles differ, but both are equally impactful when providing the balance and security so crucial for the aggressive ideology that positional play is.
Now or Never?
Jandro is 21 and yet to make his first team debut. Alarmingly, Ronald Koeman has not manifested any interest in the Spaniard. Therefore, knowing his obstinacy, that is highly unlikely to change. It’s a miracle that Orellana is still at the club, and we should take advantage of our fortune.