After just about managing to keep Philippe Coutinho at Anfield in the summer, Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool finally allowed the little magician to jet off to Barcelona this January and are now in desperate need of a replacement, not just for this season, but also for the long term.
A number of star players are being extensively linked with a move to the club and while Klopp will want an established name to replace the former Inter Milan man, he is also keeping an eye on youngsters, who can improve the quality of the squad at Anfield. One such player, they are now interested in is Cagliari star, Nicolo Barella.
According to reports, Liverpool and Juventus are the two clubs interested in the services of the 20-year old and were expected to make a move before the end of this month. However, both clubs were hit with a setback after the Serie A outfit decided to name the price for their prized possession.
Cagliari president Tommaso Giulini has today come out and revealed that they are not ready to sell the youngster anytime soon but could be tempted if his suitors are ready to meet his valuation of £44m. It might be a bit too steep for a 20-year old but could be a sensational addition to even the best teams in Europe.
Barella And His Style Of Play:
A product of the academy at Cagliari, Barella joined the senior side back in 2014 as a 17-year old and has slowly managed to cement a place in the first team at the club. He already has 54 Serie A appearances to his name to add to 3 caps for the Italian U21 national side last year.
Known for his aggressive approach to the game, the 20-year old is a central midfielder, who loves to add numbers in attack. An excellent dribbler with extra-ordinary pace across the turf, Barella is a smart player who acts as the pivot that turns defence into attack quickly. He is strong with his positioning sense and hold up play in the middle of the park but what makes him dangerous is his vision and ability to execute even the toughest of passes with minimal effort.
Creating chances comes naturally to the youngster while his technique and ability with the ball at his feet are a nightmare for even the best defenders in Italy. He is also a midfield engine that never tires and will walk straight into Klopp’s philosophy at Anfield.
Chances at Anfield:
However, he is not expected to be a part of the first team at Liverpool any time soon. The Reds did lose Coutinho recently but still have the likes of Georginio Wijnaldum, Alex-Oxlade Chamberlain, Adam Lallana and Emre Can playing in this role regularly. Marko Grujic, who has failed to keep himself fit this season and skipper Jordan Henderson are both options for the CDM spot, leaving little place for Barella in the first team.
However, at just 20, he is showing immense potential and it is understood that Klopp is impressed with his performances this season in Serie A. He may not be a ready-made option but the German manager is building a team that can dominate and bring glory days back to Anfield and with some improvements, the Cagliari man has enough quality to be a part of that squad.