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Barcelona midfielder deciding between Everton and Italian power

Where would he fit in Big Sam’s lineup?

FC Barcelona v Valencia CF - La Liga Photo by fotopress/Getty Images

Italian media (time to take your daily grain of salt) is reporting that a move by Inter Milan for Barcelona’s Rafinha Alcantara is being held up because the midfielder is deciding whether he would rather come to Everton.

There are two offers to the player ‘s entourage from England ( Everton is looking for a Barkley substitute in Chelsea), Rafinha is considering which way to go.

Bringing in a player like Rafinha would add a tremendous amount of quality to our side and, although we still need defensive help, we’d be lucky to have him.

Rafinha is the younger brother of Thiago Alcantara, former member of Pep Guardiola’s Barcelona sides and the player Pep most insisted on Bayern Munich going and getting for him when he arrived in Bavaria. Thiago is one of the most underrated midfielders in the world. A brilliant midfield metronome who can handle 100 touches a match with ease thanks to his training in the tiki taka La Masia.

“Player has no significant weaknesses” is exactly what I want to see.

Rafinha has similar skill sets, but he’s not the ultra elite talent his brother is. He’s extremely good in possession and also highly versatile, which has helped him elongate his Camp Nou career. He has seen time in the defensive midfield, central midfield, attacking midfield, and out on the wing.

In Barcelona’s loaded midfield, the tipping point to him finally leaving was the arrival of Phillippe Coutinho, who pushed him from a ‘possibly useful if someone gets hurt player’ to ‘too far on the fringes to be worth the wages’ player.

Of course, Barcelona is one of the very best teams on earth, so this is no knock on Rafinha, in fact, take a look at this graphic detailing his ability:

Courtesy of @MixedKnuts on Twitter.

As you can see, he has an incredibly strong ability to pass the ball. This might make you think that he would be brought in to replace Morgan Schneiderlin, but I don’t think that would be the case at all. His defensive abilities and mobility are far better than Schneiderlin’s.

I think this player would be a shift away from Idrissa Gueye. Gana is a wonderful player in his own right, but he’s just not very comfortable in possession. This has contributed to the problems Everton has had in build up play as we’ve become more and more reliant on the long ball, as you can see in the tweet below:

Rafinha and Morgan would be one of the better passing combinations in the Premier League, but Rafinha would also be able to carry the ball up the pitch and contribute in attack in ways that Gana can’t, while putting in defensive work that Morgan can’t. Morgan-Rafinha-Gylfi would be an ideally balanced midfield.

I am extremely encouraged by this link. We are nowhere close to done on this deal but Rafinha Alcantara is exactly the kind of player Everton needs to be signing.