Why Tottenham signing Nicolo Barella would be a huge midfield boost
The Lilywhites were understood to be monitoring the highly-rated Italy international during his time at Cagliari back in 2018. While he snubbed interest from the English capital to join Inter Milan in 2019, a move to Jose Mourinho’s side could be well on the cards next summer.
Tottenham, though, are expected to face stiff competition from reigning PL champions Liverpool in their pursuit of the 23-year-old. It has been claimed that both clubs have Barella on their shortlist at the end of the season, although Inter are likely to demand a hefty fee to part ways with one of their star players.
A youth exponent of Cagliari, Nicolo Barella made his breakthrough in the Serie A during the 2014-15 campaign. After furthering his development on loan at Como in the second-tier, the midfielder established himself as a regular fixture in 2016-17.
Barella carved out a massive reputation as one of the most promising Italian players of his generation over the course of his spell at Cagliari. He amassed 7 goals and 6 assists in 112 appearances before completing a move to heavyweights Inter Milan in 2019.
The midfield enforcer has continued to enhance his reputation at the San Siro, establishing himself as a key player under Antonio Conte. Barella has accumulated 6 goals and 16 assists in 66 appearances for the Nerazzurri in all competitions while also scoring 4 times from 18 senior outings for Italy.
More depth and quality
Tottenham roped in Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg from Southampton in the summer to bolster their midfield. The Dane has proven himself to be a massive bargain for the Lilywhites, establishing himself as a key cog in Mourinho’s engine room.
He has played every minute of the club’s campaign in the PL so far this season and has all the makings of evolving into an excellent long-term servant in North London.
Having said that, however, Tottenham have some decisions to make on the futures of some of their other key players in the middle. Dele Alli has been repeatedly linked with a move away after falling out with Mourinho while Harry Winks has also found regular minutes hard to come by.
It goes without saying that Spurs would have a massive void to fill if they were to part ways with the England duo in the near future. Moussa Sissoko is also set to turn 32 in August while Giovanni Lo Celso has struggled to produce his best form in the Premier League. Hence, Mourinho should be on the lookout for fresh additions to his midfield with one eye on the future.
Nicolo Barella ticks plenty of boxes to come through the door at Tottenham as an excellent addition to the midfield. The Italy international already boasts an impressive CV for a player aged just 23 and still has plenty of room for development moving forward.
Barella is essentially a box-to-box midfielder but is also capable of slotting into a more advanced No.10 role behind the striker. The Italian’s uncompromised work-rate – his heat map in the Serie A testifies that – coupled with his creativity, makes him a dynamic all-round operator in the middle. Those qualities should make him a perfect fit at Tottenham alongside Hojbjerg and Tanguy Ndombele.
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Tottenham need to continue looking for upgrades in all departments if they are to compete for the Premier League title moving forward. Nicolo Barella has shown the potential to reach the pinnacle of success in Europe. While he certainly won’t come cheap, the Italy international would be well worth a good long-term investment for the Lilywhites.