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Barcelona Eyeing A Players-Plus-Cash Offer For Serie A Midfielder: What Will He Add To Setien’s Team?

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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 Corriere Della Sera, Barcelona are the frontrunners in the race to secure the signature of Sandro Tonali from Brescia this summer. The same source has also claimed that the Catalan giants have offered €60m and two young players in exchange for the Italian midfield ace which could tip the scales in their favour in the chase to land the player in this off-season. It is believed that the La Liga outfit could face competition from Juventus, AC Milan, Inter Milan and Paris Saint-Germain in pursuit of the talented teenager during the summer transfer period (via Corriere Della Sera).

Tonali’s Recent Emergence In Italian Football

The 19-year-old has enjoyed an impressive campaign at Stadio Mario Rigamonti after putting in a series of eye-catching displays at the heart of Diego Lopez’s midfield. He has found the back of the net once and provided five assists in 24 appearances for Brescia this term across all competitions which highlights his growing influence going forward.

Tonali has averaged 1.2 tackles, 1.0 interceptions, 1.3 clearances, 0.8 shots, 2.1 key passes and 1.4 dribbles per game in the Serie A this season (stats via whoscored). His stats prove that he can make a significant impact at both ends of the field. The Italian playmaker has established himself as a favourite among the Brescia fans and has the potential to become a household name in European football someday.

At such a tender age, the Lodi-born prospect has represented Italy at various youth levels and has also managed to earn three senior caps for his country thus far. However, he is still waiting to score his first goal for his homeland. A summer switch to the Nou Camp will provide the promising starlet with an ideal platform to showcase his skills next season so that he can secure a place in Roberto Mancini’s squad for next year’s UEFA European Champions finals.

Sandro Tonali of Brescia Calcio looks on during the Serie A match between Parma Calcio and Brescia Calcio at Stadio Ennio Tardini on December 22, 2019 in Parma, Italy. (Photo by Alessandro Sabattini/Getty Images)

What Will The Young Italian International Add To Setien’s Side?

Tonali is a moderately-paced midfielder who can make a few driving runs with the ball from midfield. However, what makes him such a unique talent is his ability to pass the ball accurately and create some decent goal-scoring chances for his teammates in the opposition half. The Italian is usually quite adventurous with his passing which explains why he is averaging over two key passes per game in the Italian top-flight this season. He can also be a commanding presence as he can use his strength to win his fair share of 50-50 duels with the opposition at the centre of the park.

Tonali’s on-the-ball skillset makes him an excellent fit for Quique Setien’s team as he could potentially make a seamless transition to Barca’s style of play at the Nou Camp. The Brescia whizkid will not only add a lot of creativity to Setien’s midfield but also increase competition for places within his squad. The likes of Ivan Rakitic, Sergio Busquets, Frenkie de Jong and Arthur Melo can all benefit from the added competition brought by Tonali’s capture this summer.

Plus, the Italian could also serve as a perfect long-term replacement for Rakitic, who is in the last legs of his Barca career. With all things considered, it is a no-brainer for Setien to consider orchestrating a move to bring Tonali to the Nou Camp before the start of the new season.

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