Reports have recently emerged that Liverpool are interested in Brescia’s Sandro Tonali.
The 19-year-old has been an ever-present for the Italian side so far this campaign, and he has been so impressive that the club’s president Massimo Cellino has said that he is “worth €300m” (£256m). Of course, they would not be able to command as much as that for his transfer, but Liverpool would likely have to part with a significant sum to acquire his services.
As it stands, the Reds are having a fantastic campaign. They currently top the Premier League by 13 points – with a game in hand – and have already lifted two trophies – the UEFA Super Cup and the Club World Cup. You would think, therefore, that there would be no space in the starting line-up for new recruits.
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However, there could be a spot in the midfield for £27m-valued Tonali – as per Transfermarkt – to take up, and that would be at the expense of Georginio Wijnaldum. The Netherlands international has been a mainstay in the side since joining in 2016 – he has featured in at least 30 league matches in each full campaign he has spent at Anfield. But, if you compare the two, it is hard to argue that Tonali would not be an upgrade.
Ahead of the weekend’s fixtures, the two had played 16 games apiece in central midfield. From a defensive point of view, the former Newcastle United midfield had one tackle per game, 0.6 interceptions and one clearance. In all three areas, he was trumped by the three-time Italy international, who had numbers of 1.3, 0.9 and 1.3 per game respectively.
Going forward, the difference between the two is even larger. They both had the same amount of goals – one apiece – but Tonali had managed two assists whilst the 29-year-old had failed to register even one. The Brescia man has proven himself to be far more creative, as well, as he averaged 2.1 key passes per match and 1.6 dribbles compared to Wijnaldum’s 0.3 and 1.2 respectively.
In terms of the defensive statistics, it is not too surprising to see Tonali in front. Brescia had averaged just 42.8% possession per match in the league, meaning they are often on the back foot, and are currently 18th in Serie A, whilst Liverpool averaged 58.2% and are currently leading the English footballing pyramid. However, offensively, the Italian’s superiority carries far more weight for the same reasons.
There have been rumours that Wijnaldum could leave the club in the summer. If the Reds were to capture Tonali, there should be no worries about seeing him depart. Even at his age, the teenager could very well give Klopp’s men that extra edge.
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