Italian outlet Calciomercato have claimed that Liverpool have made contact with Inter Milan over the possibility of signing midfielder Nicolo Barella this summer.
Barella is currently away at Euro 2020 as he forms part of Roberto Mancini’s squad, who have already booked their place in the semi-finals to take on Spain.
On Liverpool’s end, It’s no secret that they may look for another central option this summer after the departure of Gini Wijnaldum after the Dutch midfielder ended his five-year stay at Anfield this summer.
Given who Liverpool have in reserve at the moment, Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, and the continuous questions that arise over their availability; Jurgen Klopp will know he has a huge void to fill as he somehow has to make up the quality, durability, and availability of the Dutch midfielder that saw him play 51 games for Liverpool last season.
However, if Liverpool were to bring the Italian midfielder in, how exactly does he compare to the void he’d be tasked with filling?
Barella on the face of it seems a fairly neat replacement for Wijnaldum.
For Antonio Conte’s title-winning side last season, Barella primarily operated in the middle of three-man central midfield, as Conte deployed his famous 3-5-2 formation.
On international duty, Mancini has placed huge trust on the Italian’s shoulders as he has started him in all but one of Italy’s Euro 2020 fixtures so far.
Operating off the right side of a midfield three (in a 4-3-3), Barella is given more licence to roam between both boxes as his compatriot Jorghinho operates in a more defensive manner.
Judging off his record during his time in Italy, Barella could help Klopp solve one of his underlying issues that have arisen in the recent season at Anfield, Liverpool’s lack of goals from midfield.
Last time out, Jordan Henderson, Wijnaldum, Fabinho and Thiago managed to conjure up five goals between them. Curtis Jones (four), another one of the Reds’ midfield options, was Klopp’s highest goal scorer behind Liverpool’s attacking quartet.
However, the 24-year-old Italian midfielder managed to score three goals and assisted a further 12 in all competitions.
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His versatility and adaptability will be another factor that has the potential to impress Klopp.
It has become clear during the German’s six years at Anfield that being multi-functional is worth its weight in gold; see Fabinho and Jordan Henderson last season..
And Barella can offer just that, during his time in Italy he has played on the left, the right, as a ‘ten’ and as a defensive midfielder.
Given that Klopp would be looking to bring him in as the primary competition for the likes of Thiago, Henderson, Keita and Jones etc, having a few extra feathers in the cap of the Italian would make him a suitable figure to bring to Anfield this summer.