Who is Nicolo Barella? Meet Manchester Utd and Chelsea’s Midfield Target

Nicolo Barella
Nicolo Barella

The Cagilari midfielder has been sought after by many top European teams including Manchester United. Nicolo Barella’s stellar performances in the Serie A has not gone unnoticed by many football pundits.

Nicolo Barella has been described as a highly talented, promising and composed young midfielder by the European sports media. Here are six things you should know about Nicolo Barella.

Nicolo Barella
Nicolo Barella

1. Good leadership qualities

Since joining the club at 8, he has risen to vice-captain which is impressive because he is the youngest player in the club’s history to have the headband. He is a compelling and persistent team player and has been crowned Italy’s best player in their win over Poland.


2. Versatile midfielder

Nicolo Barella is a flexible player who has been used as an attacking midfielder or as a defensive midfielder, but his role is as a right-sided central midfielder.

His best position can be said to be on the right of a midfield 3, but he is equally capable of playing in the ‘Regista’ position or as an attack minded player in Maurizio Sarri’s midfield. The key being, he can act as cover across the entire of Chelsea’s midfield.


3. Likened to Steven Gerrard

Barella has been compared to Liverpool legend, Steven Gerrard because of his stamina, physical strength, dead ball ability and vision.

Andrea Pirlo even described him as one of the best young players in Italy, whilst he’s also been praised by Del Piero and numerous Italian journalists.

Nicolo Barella
Nicolo Barella

4. Idolises a series A legend

He adores inter and Lazio legend Degan Stankovic who is now a retired Serbian midfielder. Speaking about Stankovic, he said “I have always admired his games, I tried to imitate him. Two years ago when he was second to Udinese, I shook his hand, but I didn’t dare to tell him anything”. So if you were wondering what Barella plans to achieve in his career, I guess you already have an idea now.


5. The choice to move to the premier league

Chelsea and Manchester United have made known their interest to purchase the Cagliari midfielder who is valued at 50m euros. Manchester United is one of the few clubs who would be willing to pay the price tag. Although Chelsea are hoping to sign Barella as a permanent replacement for Cesc Fabregas. There have been claims that Cagliari has issued a demand that clubs interested in Barella should meet the youngster’s valuation or look elsewhere.


6. Nicolo Barella’s Style of Play

His best attribute is his ball winning ability, making 13 tackles in one match against Milan earlier this season. He’s a composed midfielder with a good passing range and vision to compliment it. He’s been praised for his strength on the ball irrespective of his short stature.

He can also score with left-footed volleys and start counter-attacks. He knows how to find the right passes and is normally used as a box to box midfielder.

Nevertheless, Barella seems to be happy at his hometown club but knows that it is necessary to move away to achieve his full potential. It seems he may already have a preference for his next destination. He said “if I had to choose between Serie A and Premier league, I’d go to England, because I like the way they approach the game.



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