Liverpool look set to lose Georginio Wijnaldum in the summer when his contract expires, with the Dutch international seemingly close to agreeing a move to Barcelona, but the Reds can replace him with Nicolo Barella.
Recent reports have linked both Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur to the Inter midfielder, who has impressed since joining permanently from Cagliari.
Based on his performances from the last two seasons, it could be argued that he would be an upgrade on Wijnaldum, should he arrive at Anfield as the former Newcastle United man’s replacement.
So far this season, the 23-year-old midfielder has averaged a strong 7.02 rating for his performances in Serie A, having contributed two goals and five assists in 18 appearances.
Wijnaldum, meanwhile, has averaged a disappointing 6.66 rating across his 18 Premier League appearances, with just one goal and no assists to his name.
The Italian international is also superior when it comes to shots per game, key passes and dribbles per game when compared to the Dutchman, suggesting that he has more than enough to replace him in Liverpool’s midfield.
Whilst Wijnaldum has scored some important goals during his time with Liverpool, including the brace against Barcelona, he has just 21 goals in his Liverpool career, so Barella could add much more of a goal threat than the 30-year-old, as he has shown he can score goals in his time with Inter and Cagliari.
Barella currently earns £89k per week at Inter and is valued at £49.5 million, so he wouldn’t come cheap but Wijnaldum will not be an easy player to replace in Jurgen Klopp’s side, having made 212 appearances for the Reds in his career thus far.
However, it seems as if the Italian international is destined for a big future in the game, with Italian journalist Fabrizio Biasin describing him as “a gift from the footballing gods.”
Therefore, he definitely seems like an excellent option for Liverpool to consider if they do feel they need to sign someone to replace Wijnaldum this summer.