So far, this summer has been a big one for Liverpool in the transfer market. Signing players like Alisson Becker, Naby Keita and Fabinho, there is optimism going into the new season. However, Liverpool are rumoured to still be in the market and one player they are heavily linked with is Cagliari midfielder Nicolo Barella.
Barella was a mainstay in Cagliari midfield last season in Serie A helped them avoid relegation. He’s also understood to be wanted by clubs including Roma, Lyon and Atletico Madrid, but what does he offer?
At first, he looks like an energetic midfielder whose ready to eat out ground as you can see from his heatmap above. This’ll see him work well in Klopp’s gegenpressing style which demands a lot physically from players. However, discipline could be an issue as he was issued 14 yellow cards in all competitions last season.
How will he fit in this Liverpool team if he is to head to Anfield this summer?
When looking at his contributions above, they marry very well with the first image in this piece. Barella is a very active player who can offer a lot to Klopp when his side are out of possession. Making 39 interceptions and winning the most tackles (62) out of those above, his busy nature could take him very far should he make the move to Liverpool.
Last season, what you can see from the stats above is that even though he may not have taken as much care of the ball as the others, he was generally more effective. With Jordan Henderson and James Milner in particular not getting forward too often, this attitude on the ball could be an area of Barella’s game that Klopp likes.
Most its most likely that those 30 key passes came when roaming in the highlighted inside right space on the heatmap which is where Klopp’s midfielders often find themselves. If he does come to Liverpool, don’t be surprised if he is one of the more advanced in the three-man midfield.
Coming from a side like Cagliari, many may be unfamiliar with Barella but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have anything to offer. Instead, it could mean Liverpool’s scouting team are doing a very good job in finding him. With interest from the aforementioned clubs though it could be a tough one for Klopp to pull off.
However, due to the size of the Fabinho and Keita transfers Barella may have to bide his time and take his chance when it comes as being very similar in what he does, at this moment in time he may only be looked at as a backup/one for the future. Our recommendation: