Paris Saint-Germain’s star midfielder Marco Verratti has often been linked with a move to the Premier League, with Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea known admirers.
A move this January seems unlikely, but moving to England could be the move that turns him into a world-class midfielder.
When Verratti was playing at Serie B side Pescara, he was often linked with becoming the next Andrea Pirlo.
Since moving to Paris Saint-Germain he has displayed a more tenacious side, often labelled dirty, but it could be that his style is detrimental to the French game.
Last season Verratti picked up 10 yellow cards and has earned a reputation for being rash and petulant. This season, in just 13 games, the Italian international has picked up another five bookings.
As the midfielder gets older, the expectation would be that he matured and moved on from the part of his game that sees him pick up too many bookings.
However, there is a case that his behaviour is being highlighted more due to the strict nature of the French referees.
Verratti is far from being a dirty player, but the yellow card count is taking away from the beauty that. In 57 starts from PSG in Ligue 1, Verratti has been awarded 26 yellow cards, but in 13 games he is also the top assist provider in the league.
In the Champions League this season, Verratti has only picked up one yellow in three games, and only four in 20 games overall. In Serie B, he played 58 games and was shown 15 cards. It is only in France that his card count has shot up.
All the yellow cards take away from his ability to control a game and create chances. The 22-year-old has picked up 15 assists in 68 games for PSG and this season he is averaging 92.6 passes per game, completing 92.3% of his attempts.
Referees in the Premier League are known to be a lot more lenient that their French counterparts. Without the yellow cards, Verratti would be able to let his football do the talking and could continue to develop into a world-class midfielder.
The Pirlo comparisons have rightly stopped since he moved to PSG, but a move to Arsenal next summer could see Verratti become a superstar in his own right.