Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Update On Barcelona’s Pursuit Of Serie A Defender: Should The Catalans Make A Move For Him This Summer?

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Abhinab Ghosh
A 26-year-old sports writer and an aspiring football coach who has road-tripped across the Scottish Highlands, but has never been to Wales. Sucker for cliff-hangers and catchy riffs. Known to be a grunger and not to be a stranger.

According to a recent report by Calciomercato, Barcelona will have to pay upwards of €90m if they are to bring Inter Milan defender Milan Skriniar to the Nou Camp in the summer. The same source has revealed that the Serie A outfit are not willing to sell their prized asset which explains why they rejected a €65m plus €5m (in bonuses) bid from Manchester City last month. Hence, it is unlikely that Barca will be able to acquire the services of Skriniar unless they are willing to meet Inter’s valuation at the end of this campaign (via Calciomercato).

Skriniar’s Excellent Form In The Serie A This Season

The Slovak centre-half has performed at a high level throughout this campaign so far after putting in a string of dominant displays under Antonio Conte’s tutelage at the San Siro. His incredible defensive contributions have kept Inter in the Serie A title race with only three points separating them from Juventus at the top of the league table.

The 25-year-old has played in 31 matches for the Italian outfit across all fronts and has just missed one league game this season. Skriniar has averaged 1.1 tackles, 1.0 interceptions and 3.0 clearances per 90 minutes in league football which has helped Inter maintain the second-best defensive record in the division (stats via whoscored).

The ex-Sampdoria ace has formed a solid defensive partnership with Diego Godín and Stefan de Vrij which has resulted in Inter shipping in only 22 goals in the Italian top-flight. If the 31-time Slovakia international can find a way to help his side clinch the league title this season, then he will be well worth the €90m pricetag.

What Does The Slovakia International Offer On The Field?

Skriniar is a dominant presence inside his own penalty area and generally wins the major share of aerial duels against the opposition. He excels at reading the danger quickly that puts him in a good position to make some vital clearances for his side. Furthermore, the defensive ace is not shy about getting stuck in with a few tackles so that he can win the ball back and release his teammates on the break.

There is no denying that Skriniar has enhanced his reputation in European football after joining Inter from Sampdoria in the summer of 2017. He is a far more composed presence at the back and has shown outstanding defensive awareness to keep things tight in defence this season.

Should Setien Make A Move For Skriniar This Summer?

Barcelona need to strengthen their squad if they want to maintain their stranglehold in the La Liga. With Gerard Pique in the last legs of his football career and Samuel Umtiti going through a tough run with injuries, Quique Setien would be wise to recruit a world-class centre-back like Skriniar in the off-season. The Slovak defender is a class act in defence and ticks all the right boxes in terms of what Barca need from their defenders.

Skrianiar’s versatility to fill in as a makeshift right-back when required makes him an attractive proposition for the Catalan giants to consider next summer. He will not only inject a lot of quality to Setien’s defence but will also help them challenge for more silverware in the future.

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