Liverpool have already made three signings this summer in Calvin Ramsey, Darwin Nunez and Fabio Carvalho, but they have not strengthened their senior midfield options despite being linked with a number of players during the transfer window so far.
It was reported that Jurgen Klopp would focus on bolstering the Reds’ midfield after making the club-record signing of Uruguayan striker Nunez earlier this summer, with many of the current midfielders at Anfield approaching the denouement of their careers.
Thiago Alcantara, Jordan Henderson and James Milner are all well into their 30s at this point, and injecting some much needed youth into the midfield is a must for Liverpool if they want to build for the future at Anfield.
Jude Bellingham is one midfielder who has been constantly named as a top target for the Reds, although Borussia Dortmund have made it abundantly clear that the wonderkid will not be available until next summer, with Liverpool reportedly willing to wait until then.
In terms of this summer, Klopp could still be tempted to land a great midfield signing to add some more experience and talent into his already high-quality team, with Nicolo Barella named as a potential €90m (£77m) transfer target for the club.
The 25-year-old is no stranger to the Premier League Manager of the Year, as the German was full of praise for the Serie A star when Liverpool came up against Inter Milan in the Champions League earlier this year.
In his press conference ahead of the first leg of the tie in February, Klopp said to the media about Barella: “He’s a really good player, a really good player and I like him a lot. He has all the things you want from a midfield player: he is aggressive, he is technical, he can run for ages and all these kinds of things. That’s a top-class player.”
The Liverpool manager could land his very own Luka Modric in Barella, as the Real Madrid star was the eighth-most comparable to the Italian over the last 12 months according to FBRef.
Although Barella is more of a direct attacking threat, there are many similarities which can be drawn between the pair where they compete in different strengths and capabilities.
It comes as no surprise that Modric outperforms the 25-year-old in terms of passing abilities, with an 88.1% completion rate compared to the Inter midfielder’s 83.5%, but the Croatian only just pips his fellow midfielder for the number of passes completed (1,544 to 1,527).
Barella also outperforms the Bernabeu veteran in terms of goal contributions, with one more goal and three more assists over the last 12 months, and he has more shot creating chances with 4.05 per 90 minutes compared to the Real Madrid midfielder’s 3.23, as per FBRef.
If Klopp and FSG are looking for a player who can offer high pressing, creativity and a good passing range, then Barella would be a great choice for Liverpool ahead of next season.