Four Clubs Marco Verratti Should Consider Moving To If He Leaves Paris Saint-Germain

Four Clubs Marco Verratti Should Consider Moving To If He Leaves Paris Saint-Germain
Jun 25, 2017

Featured Ligue 1 Paris Saint-Germain Transfer Rumours

Marco Verratti is primarily a deep-lying playmaker who can do his defensive duties with equal competence as he displays his prowess to make a difference in build-up play, as well as creating opportunities for his fellow teammates. His positioning is generally deeper than the other midfielders, and he chooses to play the ball to the flair players ahead of him quickly, as opposed to keeping it to himself.

His passing is a key facet of his game and he uses it very well, boasting a completion rate of close to 90%. Verratti is very much at the core of PSG’s creative play. With Cavani leading the line, even though he doesn’t possess the same physical presence as Ibrahimovic, the Uruguayan makes many runs beyond the last line of defence, allowing Verratti to play those accurate through-balls, something he is very adept at.

The benefit of this excellent passing, especially coming from the deep areas that Verratti operates in, is that it builds attacks. This ability to play the ball from the back is useful in linking the defensive players to the attacking ones, especially now that most of Europe’s elite teams are playing the ball out from the back to ensure possession is kept and attacks can be built consistently. He is broadly considered as one of the best young midfielders in the world right now and he was just 20-years-old when he was signed from Italian side Pescara in 2012. Verratti has made 201 appearances for PSG, scoring six goals while also becoming a leader in the centre of the park for the French giants.  

According to several reports, his price is expected to be at around 90 million pounds but there have been many saying that PSG will refuse to sell their most priced asset at any cost. Here, we look at four clubs that could benefit from him the most – a dream move, a realistic choice, a wildcard switch and a team selected as perfect for the world-class midfield talent.

Dream: Barcelona

It is a well-known commodity that Verratti considers Barcelona as his dream club and the rumours of him making the move to the Catalan giants haven’t just come about this year. It has been coming for several years in a row and it has always seemed that Verratti will join Barcelona sooner than later. It makes perfect sense, as well. He has been considered as the heir apparent to Xavi and it is easy to see why. He is comfortable in possession and has the ability to break up play and in the typical Italian manner, he can prove to be a tough tackler and defensively sound. He has even got even the backing of Xavi himself, who has identified him as one player who could fit into the Barcelona side with ease and that he is perfect fit for the Catalan side.

And now, where will he fit in if he does end up joining Barcelona? Barcelona have always employed a 4-3-3 predominantly since the days of Pep Guardiola. They did experiment with a 3-3-1-3 towards the end of the season but it is expected that new manager Ernesto Valverde will start off with a 4-3-3 or slight variants of it. Ivan Rakitić has been played on the right side of three in midfield and Verratti will most likely occupy that role. Andrés Iniesta is not getting any younger and Verratti could also play the role of left interior whenever required. If Valverde does decide to employ a 3-3-1-3 to allow Lionel Messi to drift across the central areas, Verratti can also once again play just behind Messi as the deep lying playmaker. If Verratti’s signing is indeed completed, it gives Barcelona a lot of quality and tactical flexibility, as well. It has been some time since Barcelona have made a successful big money signing with the likes of Andre Gomes, Paco Alcácer, Jérémy Mathieu not exactly going the way they would have envisaged, however, the signing of one Marco Verratti will no doubt be a successful one.

Logical: Juventus

Juventus are probably one of the handful of clubs who can afford Verratti. It is entirely conceivable why they might make a move for the Italian maestro. Sami Khedira and Claudio Marchisio are not getting any younger and in recent times have been plighted consistently by injuries. They did sign Miralem Pjanić from AS Roma last summer but there is every possibility that they will dip into the market for a decisive deep lying playmaker. In fact, a few years ago, Verratti’s agent Donato Di Campli said his client would most likely consider the Bianconeri first should he decide to make a move. He said, “Marco is well at PSG. If the club were to come to us and say he was not in their plans we would evaluate the options. You all know he is a fan of Juventus, but at the moment I’ve had no signs of this.”

Juventus have often switched between 3-4-3 and 4-2-3-1 and their tactical flexibility is down to Allegri’s ability to adapt according to the personal and a willingness to try different things to attain balance. Dani Alves is expected to leave Juventus and there is a chance that left-back Alex Sandro could depart, as well. This might mean Juventus could move to a back 4 since they will lack marauding wing-backs needed to play a formation with a three at the back. If Verratti does move, Juve might switch to a 4-3-3 with Marchisio or Khedira sitting deep and Pjanic and Verratti as the slightly advanced interior midfielders. Juventus have missed Paul Pogba’s dynamism and creativity and although Verratti isn’t a similar type of player, he could certainly be a creative lynchpin from deeper areas and this will reduce the pressure on someone like Paulo Dybala, who has the large share of responsibility, right now.

 Wildcard: Manchester City

It seems a natural fit with Pep Guardiola and his style of play that he wishes to employ, so why not join Manchester City? Marco Verratti’s serene passing and his ability to be a dominant midfielder in both attacking and defensive aspects could prove to be exactly what Pep Guardiola wants. Considering the price range and the fact that Verratti wants to join a club that can potentially challenge for trophies on several fronts, domestically and in Europe, Manchester City could be a very attractive option. PSG also are unwilling to sell so it will take a huge pay package to prize away Verratti from Paris – something even a club like Barcelona might not be able to afford, but that would not be an issue for Manchester City.

Verratti has the perfect attributes to play the No.6 role for Manchester City. Yaya Touré and Fernandinho were primarily playing that role for City last season, but both are into their 30’s and Guardiola will want a younger option for his revolution. İlkay Gündoğan can play that role, as well, but his current long term injury and fitness issues mean that Guardiola cannot always rely on him. Two out of new signing Bernardo Silva, David Silva and Kevin De Bruyne will play the false 8 role, just in front of the holding midfielder. It certainly will be a joy to watch the trio operate, if Verratti does decide to make move to the Etihad Stadium.

Recommendation: Chelsea

By chance, if the Barcelona move does not happen, why not go and join hands with his countryman Antonio Conte at Chelsea? There have been rumours circulating that Conte would love to sign Marco Verratti and build his side around him. Just like Manchester City, they are one of the very few clubs who can afford the entire pay package. In many ways, Chelsea could prove to be a perfect move for Verratti. He wants to win and that’s the mentality Chelsea, Antonio Conte and Roman Abramovich all have. While Antonio Conte was the Italy national team manager, Verratti didn’t get a lot of opportunities with him due to injuries and he was even forced to miss the Euro 2016 in France, last summer. Verratti has spoken glowingly about Conte in the past and there is every chance that he would like to work with him, again, this time at club level.

Now, where will Verratti play if he makes the move to Stamford Bridge? Antonio Conte famously switched to a 3-4-3 which in many ways led to their title win, last season. N’Golo Kanté and Nemanja Matić were the first choice midfield pairing with Cesc Fàbregas playing a classy cameo role, as well. Matić has been linked with a move away from Chelsea and they are expected to complete the signing of Tiemoué Bakayoko in the coming days, who is most likely his replacement. If Verratti does join Chelsea, Conte might switch to a 3-5-2 which he used at Juventus. Kanté could be placed at the base with Verratti and Fàbregas or Bakayako being the midfielders just ahead of him. With the likes of Eden Hazard and whoever the new striker might be, ahead of him, Verratti might just be able to exploit his full repertoire in the attacking sense with little less defensive duties. He can even fit in a 3-4-3 in a midfield two. Verratti will allow Conte to use different combinations and as Conte tries to make strides in Europe, which he has failed to do so during his time at Juventus, Verratti could be the kingpin in his team that will take Chelsea to the next level.

  1. Inter Milan.. Put him next to Gagliardini, he will be the next big thing in World football

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