Nico Barella started for Italy against Turkey in the Euro 2020. Liverpool reportedly want the midfielder.
Liverpool are watching Nicolo Barella. That’s according to Gazzetta Dello Sport, anyway. The paper believes the Reds are one of a few clubs hoping to tempt Barella away from Inter.
We think moves elsewhere might make that difficult, however. Regardless, there’s no denying that Barella would be a good signing.
The reported £60m price is a big one, though. Can Liverpool afford that? We’re doubtful but Barella could be the type of talent who justifies that outlay.
Liverpool will want a Gini Wijnaldum replacement, though. That is, someone who can do a bit of everything. Good in possession, comfortable moving with the ball, solid defensively, and with a good engine.
So with that in mind, just how did he do against Turkey?
Nico Barella: Italy vs Turkey
Barella put in a mixed bag but it was a promising display. With the ball, certainly, he looked very solid.
The 24-year-old completed the fourth-most passes in the game with 56 and did it at a 90% completion rate. It’s essentially exactly what Italy needed from an advanced midfielder.
Turkey sat very deep for most of the game and challenged Italy to break them down. That took patience and consistency to achieve – something Barella helped with greatly.
The Inter midfielder also created a chance with his passing, while he played the pass to Domenico Berardi that resulted in the opening own goal.
Barella stood out with his dribbling, too. He beat three opponents with the ball – the most in the game. Again, exactly what Italy needed from him in a game where it was difficult to find space.
He wasn’t perfect, though. Turkey dribbled past him twice and Barella didn’t complete any tackles or interceptions. He was tackled three times, too – no one else in the game was tackled more than once.
Was this worth £60m? No, probably not. But we think Barella gave Liverpool quite a lot to think about with his ability on the ball. He created space and brought control in a game where it was necessary. That takes a lot of skill.
Essentially, you’re hoping he can develop even further and kick on throughout the tournament. If he does, that £60m will look more and more tempting. We’ll certainly be watching closely and we imagine Liverpool will be, too.