Reported Liverpool target Sandro Tonali is an ‘incredible player’ and physically superior to Serie A legend Andrea Pirlo, former Italy international Federico Balzaretti has told Goal.
It is always a dangerous game, signing a man who is shining so brightly in a struggling side.
Take Simon Mignolet for example.
The Belgian goalkeeper might have looked like the saviour of Sunderland but a penchant for high-profile errors would quickly have the Anfield faithful questioning his ability to make the step up to a whole new level.
So Reds fans might have a few concerns amid claims from Alfredo Pedulla that Jurgen Klopp would love to bring Tonali to Merseyside.
But while the 20-year-old is welded to the bottom of the Serie A table with Brescia, this is a player with boundless potential and the technique to make his mark at the very top of the European game.
“Tonali, the first time I watched him, his passing [stood out],” Balzaretti says, before suggesting that those relentless comparisons with a 2006 World Cup winner are a little wide of the mark.
He is totally different to Andrea Pirlo but he could play together with Pirlo. It would be a great, great partnership because he is more physical maybe than Pirlo.
“It’s impressive. It’s unbelievable. He is an incredible player. He is ready to play for a top, top club in Europe.
“He is ready for the next step.”
With the injury-hit Naby Keita facing an uncertain future at Anfield and James Milner the wrong side of 30, there may be room at Liverpool next season for a player of Tonali’s ilk.
More of a dynamic, box-to-box enforcer than a pristine playmaker in the Pirlo mould, Brescia are expected to demand around £45 million even if they do succumb to relegation before the season is out (Tuttosport).