Why Wilmar Barrios would be a good signing for Brighton
According to Don Balon (h/t Sussex Live), Brighton and Hove Albion have been linked with a move for Colombian international midfielder Wilmar Barrios, who currently plies his trade with Russia heavyweights Zenit St.Petersburg.
As per the report, the 26-year-old wants to quit Zenit due to family issues and is desperate to sign for Brighton, who have put a lucrative offer on the table for him.
It has also been claimed that the Seagulls have offered him guarantees over salary and game time to convince him to move to the south coast of England.
Wilmar Barrios started his professional career with Deportes Tolima in his native Colombia before moving across the continent to join Argentine giants Boca Juniors in the summer of 2016.
The 26-year-old established himself as one of the best defensive midfielders in Latin America, winning two domestic titles in Argentina, while also proving his worth in the Copa Libertadores. Barrios registered 61 appearances for Boca Juniors in all competitions before earning a €15m move to Europe with Zenit last summer.
The 28-cap Colombian international guided Zenit to the Russia Premier League crown and the Russia Cup double in his debut season, while also catching the eye as an aggressive combative midfielder in the UEFA Champions League.
Barrios also boasts considerable international experience under his belt, having represented Colombia at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia and also in the 2019 Copa America.
Barrios could be the ideal man to improve Brighton’s midfield
Brighton aren’t really short of options in the middle of the park at the moment, with youngsters like Alexis MacAllister and Steven Alzate competing with the likes of Pascal Gross, Yves Bissouma, Davy Propper, and Dale Stephens.
Plus, the Seagulls have already completed a free transfer for Adam Lallana, who is expected to add more creativity and experience to Graham Potter’s midfield ranks next season.
However, it is imperative to say that Brighton don’t really have an out-and-out defensive midfielder in their ranks. Propper, Bissouma, and Stephens have been as a shield for the rearguard at times, but one does get the feeling that the arrival of a specialist option like Wilmar Barrios could make a notable difference to the balance of the squad.
The Colombian international averaged more tackles (2.5) and more successful long balls (3.7) per game than any Brighton midfielder last season. Those numbers clearly suggest that he would add a lot more steel and stability to the midfield unit at the Amex Stadium.
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Wilmar Barrios definitely deserves a shot at the Premier League after proving his credentials in South America, Russia, and also in the Champions League. Furthermore, he also boasts an impressive track record for Colombia on the international front.
The 26-year-old still has his best years ahead of him and Brighton completing a deal for the Russian Premier League icon should be an absolute no-brainer.