Tottenham Hotspur have been linked with a new name this week…
According to Calciomercato, Spurs are interested in signing Inter Milan hotshot Nicolo Barella, though they reportedly face stiff competition from Premier League rivals Liverpool.
The Serie A outfit broke a club-record to sign him for €49m (£44m) only 18 months ago but clearly, his form has caught the attention of Jose Mourinho and Jurgen Klopp alike.
Barella has emerged as one of the stars of the season so over in Italy, he’s contributed towards seven goals in just 15 league starts, via WhoScored.
And just this week, The Athletic’s James Horncastle waxed lyrical over his commanding display against defending champions Juventus as he proved to be a major creative outlet for Antonio Conte’s side. Indeed, this is a role that he’s thrived in throughout the campaign.
Per WhoScored, the 23-year-old Italian international has averaged 1.4 key passes per game, which ranks him above Christian Eriksen and only just behind Alexis Sanchez.
Whilst if you were to compare that to the Spurs squad, Barella would only be behind Heung-min Son and Harry Kane, who Mourinho has a major reliance on for goals right now.
Only one other Spurs player has scored more than two times in the Premier League this season, that being Tanguy Ndombele, so you could say that the north London outfit are still feeling the void left behind by the aforementioned Eriksen.
Interestingly, the Dane has been linked with a return to N17, but perhaps it is his teammate that Spurs should be eyeing up.
Ndombele has now contributed towards 13 goals in 53 appearances, whilst Giovani Lo Celso has managed seven goals and four assists in 56 appearances. It means a total of 24 goals in 99 matches have had the influence of either 2019 summer signing, which isn’t actually that good when you consider the impact Eriksen once had at the club.
In six straight seasons, the playmaker managed to find the net at least six times, whilst in four of six Premier League seasons, he delivered at least 11 assists, via Transfermarkt.
Lo Celso and Ndombele contribute a goal once every four matches in the top-flight, but Eriksen managed a goal contribution once every 1.9 games.
That cannot be understated and shows that both Ndombele or Lo Celso have a long way to go to hit similar numbers.
Which is why Spurs chairman Daniel Levy could finally find his perfect Eriksen replacement in Barella, who clearly is closer to being that kind go creative threat from, midfield more so than either of the above duo.
Evidently, the young midfield maestro is likely the closest thing Spurs could possibly get to a prime Eriksen and given that Son and Kane have contributed towards 73% of all their goals scored in the league, a new dimension may be needed in attack.
Barella, whilst costly, would be an ideal addition this January.
AND in other news, Worse than Dier: £1o0k-p/w “liability” was shocking against the Blades…