For years the AC Milan midfield has been the central focus of criticism for most supporters as it simply hasn’t had enough quality and depth to suggest we can compete at the highest level.
The current trident of Giacomo Bonaventura, Lucas Biglia and Franck Kessie is undoubtedly an improvement on what we’ve seen in previous years. However, that’s not particularly difficult given we’ve berated Riccardo Montolivo on a weekly basis for the past four years and struggled through the likes of Bakaye Traore and other free transfers and loanees.
Nevertheless, question marks remain over how far that trio can take us, and particularly given the lack of quality behind them, it’s an area that must still be regarded as a priority. As noted by Sky Sport Italia, Lucas Paqueta appears to be the first step towards addressing the midfield, but four names in particular continue to be linked with a move to join us.
Who is the right man for the job, if we could only pick one more?
Technically gifted, experienced and possesses real creativity and an eye for goal in the final third, the Welshman could be an ideal solution and is said to be a top target, as noted by Sky Sports.
Over 300 appearances for Arsenal, he has proven himself at the highest level and there is an argument that a move to Italy would suit him perfectly in terms of the slower tempo to make the most of his quality on and off the ball with his awareness and ability to find pockets of space between the lines crucial.
Out of contract in the summer as it stands, it could be a great addition alongside the signing of Paqueta with FFP in mind too, and as seen in the video below, he put a show on against us last season in the Europa League and could potentially be the quality addition we need to help the younger players develop too.
Aaron Ramsey vs. AC Milan [@VVSMus]
Disciplined, yet tireless performance from deep. pic.twitter.com/rq5otOmZhn
— BTL Comps (@BTLComps) March 8, 2018
Previous experience of playing in Italy following spells with Roma and Empoli, the Argentine midfielder has continued to impress for Zenit.
Comfortable on the ball with great vision and reading of the game, he could be direct competition for compatriot Biglia while offering more from an offensive perspective as our current defensive midfield star remains quite limited in that aspect.
As per Calciomercato, Zenit want €30m for him in January, is he worth that investment and can we stretch to another big signing following on from Paqueta?
Leandro Paredes – Get him before he’s gone.
There’s more than a handful of clubs in the top-5 leagues that could use him. pic.twitter.com/WKWMsZnggs
— Nic (@futbolmentals) March 29, 2018
The silky French international is another who is available on a free transfer next summer, and with an abundance of experience and a winning pedigree from his time with Paris Saint-Germain, he could fit seamlessly into this side.
With Gennaro Gattuso’s style of play in mind, his technical class could make him an ideal addition, although perhaps a valid criticism remains in that he is prone to making mistakes in possession in dangerous areas and has had a habit of going missing in big games.
Sport claimed we made a late bid to sign him this past summer, and whether it’s a cut-price deal in January or on a free next summer, there’s no denying the 23-year-old would add serious quality to our midfield.
⚽️ Some highlights from birthday boy Adrien Rabiot ? pic.twitter.com/9e5VCKWJ6X
— Paris Saint-Germain (@PSG_English) April 3, 2018
What a talent this 21-year-old Italian starlet is. Tenacious, combative but with quality on the ball too, he has the all-round package it seems and will only continue to improve with experience and maturity.
As shown in his statistics last season, he bagged six goals in 34 Serie A games and so can offer quality in both facets of the game, while he would add to what we currently have with the young Italian core to the squad.
Corriere dello Sport claim he is also on our transfer radar, and with Paqueta perhaps adding the attacking class in midfield, Barella could complement him perfectly and add depth alongside the likes of Biglia and Kessie.
Nicolo Barella ● LIVERPOOL TARGET ● Goals, Skills & Assists 2018 https://t.co/upvsbg52EE
— Roll Reus (@Roll_reus) January 8, 2018