Friday, January 28, 2022

Liverpool To Rival Tottenham Hotspur For This Serie A Midfielder: Right Fit For The Reds?

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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.

In a recent report, Calciomercato has mentioned that Liverpool are set to rival Tottenham Hotspur in pursuit of Inter Milan midfielder Nicolo Barella. It is understood that the Reds are keeping an eye on the Italian playmaker, who is under contract at the San Siro until 2024, but could face competition from Spurs in the race to sign him (via Calciomercato).

Since arriving from Cagliari Calcio last summer, Barella has earned a lot of plaudits for putting on some eye-catching performances at the heart of Antonio Conte’s midfield. The 23-year-old has participated in 25 matches for Inter this term, finding the back of the net twice while securing eight assists across multiple competitions.

The Cagliari-born midfield ace has done well to influence the game at both ends of the pitch as he is averaging 1.9 tackles, 0.9 interceptions, 1.1 shots, 1.4 key passes and 1.0 dribbles per 90 minutes in the Serie A this season. He has even distributed the ball immaculately as a box to box midfielder based on his pass completion rate of 84% in the Italian top tier (stats via whoscored).

The way things are going for Barella, it is only a matter of time before he gets linked with a lot of top clubs in Europe. Therefore, he could prove to be a massive coup for Liverpool if they can get a deal done to bring him to England at the end of this campaign.

Liverpool to rival Tottenham Hotspur for Nicolo Barella (Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp is celebrating in picture)
Jurgen Klopp, Manager of Liverpool celebrates to the fans after the Premier League match between West Ham United and Liverpool FC at London Stadium on January 29, 2020, in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)

What Are The Italian Playmaker’s Best Attributes?

Barella is a deceptively quick midfielder who is not shy of producing a tireless shift at the centre of the park. He can stand his ground and make a few tackles to earn possession back for his team. The Italian sensational is technically gifted and has a wide range of passes in his locker. Plus, he is also an excellent dribbler with the ball and has got the vision to play a decisive through ball in the final third. However, Barella needs to add a few more goals to his game if he wants to play at the highest level week in week out.

Is Barella The Right Fit For The Reds?

The 18-time Italian international is enjoying life in Milan at the moment, so Jurgen Klopp will find it difficult to tempt him to join his revolution at Anfield unless he is willing to guarantee regular first-team minutes to the player.

Currently, Liverpool have got an embarrassment of riches in their midfield department as Georginio Wijnaldum, Thiago Alcantara, Curtis Jones, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Naby Keita and James Milner are all fighting for a place in Klopp’s first-team while both Jordan Henderson and Fabinho fill in as makeshift centre-halves. Hence, they have no immediate need to sign a new midfielder but should rather concentrate on bringing in an emergency centre-back this month.

However, Wijnaldum’s contract is set to expire next summer, which could open up a space in Klopp’s squad for someone like Barella. The Italian will undeniably add a lot of creativity and energy to the Liverpool midfield for years to come and will certainly be a great fit for the Reds in the long-run.

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