If you're a fan of Netflix docuseries and hard-charging defensive midfielders then today is your day! According to reports from Argentina, Roma have reportedly lodged a €24 million offer for Boca Juniors midfielder Wilmar Barrios, who was, of course, featured in the Netflix series, Boca Confidential—if you haven't seen it, ask your sister's boyfriend for his password; he'll be cool with it.
While Daniele De Rossi finally returned to training today, and Steven Nzonzi seems to be rounding back to good health as well, it doesn't change the fact that both men are on the wrong side of 30 (as am I coincidentally), so the 25-year-old defensive whiz may not be as redundant as he seems. In fact, he's far from it.
El conjunto italiano quiere al colombiano a préstamo hasta junio y con una multimillonaria obligación de comprahttps://t.co/VYYtxl04Rm— TyC Sports (@TyCSports) January 23, 2019
Since making the switch to La Bombonera in 2016, Barrios' role for club and country has gradually increased, as he's made over 50 appearances for Boca and his native Colombia over the past two years, including four appearances in last year's World Cup.
Barrios won't win any awards for aesthetics on the ball, but he is an absolute beast in defense, sniffing out prey like an unleashed Bloodhound. That's not to say he's oaf with the ball at his feet, but Barrios’ role for Boca is about as defensive as they come—break up an attack, protect the defense, and get ball back up the pitch. It's a limited job description, sure, but it's one Barrios does exceedingly well.
In limited duty this season—only five league appearances—Barrios has been remarkably productive, averaging nearly seven defensive actions (tackles, blocks, interceptions) per match. While he's been buried behind Fernando Gago and Agustin Almendra this season, his numbers were still quite stout last season, one in which he logged nearly 2,000 league minutes. In those 23 appearances during the 2017-2018 season, Barrios still managed 6.3 defensive actions per match. So, anyway you slice it, this kid gets in the thick of the action.
According to TyC, Roma are looking to bring Barrios across the Atlantic on an initial six month loan with an option to buy next summer for €24 million, his rumored release point. With prior stories linking him to Tottenham, Roma may not have time to waffle either; that's not a price point Roma typically approaches during the winter, but he'd fit them like a glove.
I'm finding it hard to hide my Boca bias, but what Barrios lacks in flash he makes up in substance—he is exactly the type of player Roma needs to wedge in between her bevy of flashier midfielders.
If he were an early-2000s United States Presidential candidate, he'd be the one you'd want to have a beer with.
You know what to do, Burdisso. Sign those papers.