Three Reasons Why Marco Verratti Is The Man Who Barcelona Need
Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Marco Verratti has been linked with a move to Spanish giants Barcelona for more than a year now.
The Italian superstar has been identified by the Catalan giants as the right man to take over the mantle in the middle of the park for the future and are willing to offer as much as €100million to pry him away from Les Parisiens. However, PSG remain reluctant to lose their most valuable player and aren’t willing to enter any sort of negotiations with the catalans.
Verratti, 24, recently signed a new long-term contract with PSG, extending his stay till 2021 with the club, which means PSG are not under any sort of pressure to sell him. And the fact that they have enough money bags of their own means they wouldn’t be too heartbroken on missing out on a €100million payday.
Yet, it is unlikely that we have seen the last of this transfer saga. Barcelona badly want to sign Verratti and will continue to test PSG’s resolve. And here are three reasons why they are absolutely right in chasing the Italian international and should do everything to sign him.
An Impactful Transfer
In the past three summer transfer windows, Barcelona haven’t had the best of results from their purchases. Apart from Luis Suarez and Ivan Rakitic, there haven’t been a lot of arrivals that have gone on to make significant impact on the club’s fortunes.
Last summer was the lowest of it all. The Catalans spent so heavily on the likes of Paco Alcacer, Andre Gomes, Lucas Digne and Samuel Umtiti. But apart from Umtiti, the rest of the new arrivals lacked the quality needed to be a Barcelona player. This is something that the fans will be hoping, will change under new manager Ernesto Valverde.
Verratti is heralded as one of the best midfielders in Europe currently and deservedly so. He has the quality and the class to turn out to be an excellent player for Barca. And by signing him, Barcelona will be making a huge statement of intent.
Heir-Apparent To Iniesta
Barcelona’s golden era under Pep Guardiola was built around three players – Lionel Messi, Xavi Hernandez and Andres Iniesta. The three superstars were the focal point of the immense success that the Catalan giants achieved in the past decade.
But Xavi went on to hang up his boots two years ago, and Iniesta too looks like he could follow suit in a year’s time, leaving Messi as the only flag-bearer from the trophy-laden era. Barcelona have found a great replacement for Xavi in Ivan Rakitic – not exactly in a similar role, Neymar is primed to take up the baton from Messi, if and when he calls it a day.
That leaves Iniesta with no replacement yet. Andre Gomes was brought in last season to be the long-term replacement for the Spanish maestro, but the Portuguese international has struggled and looks short of quality to take up a role of such magnitude.
Verratti, on the other hand, has displayed that he can be the heir to Iniesta. The Italian has been getting better and better in each of his five seasons with PSG and till date has gone on to win 15 major honours. He certainly has the class and the mettle to fill in the shoes of Iniesta.
Finesse With Tenacity
What makes Verratti an exceptional talent is that he is a top notch passer of the ball, with expansive range of distribution and matches the bite and tenacity in the middle of the park.
Last season, Verratti averaged a total of 87.5 passes per game at an accuracy of 88.4%. The closest among the Barcelona midfield ranks to the Italian was Sergio Busquets who, on an average, played 66.5 passes per game with 89% accuracy. Verratti also averaged 1.4 key passes per game, with Iniesta being the closest with 1.1 for Barcelona. These are strong indicators of the fact that Verratti is one of the modern pass masters.
Along with this, the Italian international adds a tenacious presence to the midfield with his ability to make vital tackles and interceptions. The 24-year old averaged a total of 3.1 tackles per game in Ligue1 last season and once again it’s Busquets who comes the closest with 2.5 tackles per game. This highlights that Verratti, at just 24, has shown all the traits of developing into a complete midfielder and with Barcelona, he can well and truly go on to achieve greatness, while also leading the club to glory.