Real Madrid Transfers: Ranking the 5 best midfielders to buy

West Ham, Declan Rice (Photo by Craig Mercer/MB Media/Getty Images)
West Ham, Declan Rice (Photo by Craig Mercer/MB Media/Getty Images) /
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Inter, Nicolo Barella
Inter, Nicolo Barella (Photo by GIOVANNI ISOLINO/AFP via Getty Images) /

3. Inter Milan CM Nicolo Barella

How can anyone not love Nicolo Barella’s game? The fiery Inter Milan midfielder is the definition of an elite competitor, and he is such an important player to the Nerazzurri. Every time I watch him play, I come away impressed with his command of matches and his energy. He is one of those midfielders who will fight for every loose ball but can also come up with a pass of such stunning technical quality and invention that you almost wonder if you are watching the more romantic 2000’s era of football.

The world-class Italian international burst onto the scene as the best midfielder in Serie A last season, and while his 2021/22 season has not been quite as remarkable, Barella has still remained productive despite Inter taking a step back from their 2020/21 second-half dominance.

Barella has 2 goals and a whopping 9 assists this season for Inter, averaging 1.6 key passes per game in Serie A and 2.2 per game in the Champions League before his team’s Round of 16 exit to Liverpool. The 25-year-old is also averaging 1.7 tackles per game in the Italian top flight and had 2.5 tackles per game in the Champions League.

Entering his peak, Barella is one of those players who could explode at a club like Real Madrid, where his passing would be rewarded with more assists. And you know Real love their midfielders who are willing to defend and create. Look no further than the heights and plaudits Luka Modric has achieved, including the Ballon d’Or.

Obviously, Barella is no Modric, but to many Madridistas, he is the closest thing to the Croatian magician. Fans of Italian football have sung the praises of Barella for more than a year, and anyone who is still sleeping on him is seriously out of the loop. If Inter’s financial troubles worsen and they are set for another firesale, Real Madrid must be attentive to this world-class midfielder.