(Note , most of these guys are versatile enough to play in a 4-3-3 as well , I just titled it that because of the popular WAGNH meme)
The Croatian playmaker we should be looking for.
While Modric is amazing , another Croatian ex-Zangreb midfield dynamo has been stealing headlines with HSV. he's been great at both breaking up play and orchestrating from deep. Many of you here want Gundogan (a similar player) , but his stats compare very favorably with Gundogan's. Milan played more Bundesliga games (30/26) but still on average per game , made more tackles (3.7/2.3) , more interceptions (3.5/2.3) .In terms of creation he made more key passes (1/.07). He makes a similar no of passes (58.1/58.6) but has a lower passing accuracy (81.5%/86.2%). He plays in a double pivot for HSV and has been a standout.
Jeremy Yuen , a commentor who regularly watches HSV was duly impressed
he’s currently one of my favorite upcoming midfielder and that’s Milan Badelj. This guy just has an amazing work ethic and is a deceivingly good defender (at one point he had over 50 tackles in less than 20 matches as a midfielder). He’s been toted as the next Modric and so far for HSV, he has certainly lived up to that title and I’m confident that Klopp would go after him if Gundogan is to leave. He just reads the game so well and makes an absurd number of interceptions for a player of his position and it seems like he’s always a step ahead when he’s distributing the ball just based on his movement.
As for Badelj, I really, really want Chelsea to go after him rather than Gundogan who will probably cost more (also, it seems like Gundogan is happy at Dortmund regardless of who’s staying and leaving). Badelj has just captivated me this year whenever I watched HSV and I honestly think that Badelj might just be the type of player that could help our midfield take the giant leap forward. He’s defensively sound and has so far embraced the DLP role.
Badelj at times looks like he's on a completely different wavelength compared to his teammates...
…and I think that may have hindered him a little bit. Some of the passes he makes are just mind blowing awesome and I can’t even think of how he saw the window in the first place and I’m pretty sure his teammates were unaware of the window until they saw the ball fly past them and then that puts them a step behind. Again I’m just going reiterate how much I love his ability to read the game like a chess match as he makes some solid interceptions throughout the match.
Also Badelj will offer solid defensive qualities on the pitch that would allow guys like Rambo and DL more freedom to do the stuff they do well
And pairing him with Mikel could probably create the most solid defensive midfield pairing we have fielded in a long time.
Chances we get him-
Can we convince HSV to sell us their best player? He's only a year into his contract so we have no leverage there. But we do have a good relationship with HSV and they have expressed interest in our Bruma. A large cash offer plus Bruma , with someone like Kevin De Bryne/Kalas on loan may be enough to tempt them. Don't count on it though.
The Spanish playmaker we should be looking for
I've shown you the new Modric, here is the new Xabi Alonso.
Asier Illarramendi- Real Sociedad
Real Sociedad is the Poor man's Real Madrid. They both are 'Royal' clubs and play a counterattacking style of football. This guy has been a standout performer in their midfield , playing a Xabi Alonso-esque regista role in a double pivot where he creates from deep. He has been featured on whoscored.com and outsidetheboot.com.
Illaramendi’s game is compared to Alonso’s due to their similarity in passing and ability to cut open passes while lying in the deep, with splendid through balls. A high passing accuracy of 81% along with an average of four long balls in every game, further define the similarity in their style of play. Meanwhile, he has also notched up two assists, with one of the assists coming in the game against FC Barcelona, which was the Catalan club’s first defeat of this season.
Illarramendi most notable attribute is his strong tackling which consolidates his claim as an exemplary defensive midfielder. He averages 4 tackles per game this season and 2 interceptions (at the time of writing). These stats lend him a rank of 9th in the list of successful tacklers in the La Liga this season. An exceptional sense of position means he can nip any advancing attacks in the bud with successful interceptions.
Though he hasn’t scored any goals this term, he does play the long ball very often and create chances from the deep. He also possess an average shot accuracy of 29%, a decent stat by any means for a defensive minded player.
He is no slouch in the creative side of his game too , averaging 1 key pass per game.
Chances we get him-
Rumor has it real Madrid came knocking and were told to pay his full 30 million Euro release clause. Real Madrid were unwilling to pay this much for someone who would essentially be behind Xabi Alonso , Sami Khedira and Modric in the midfield. However , he would be a starter for us. Remember we paid a similar fee for Oscar and conceivably at 23 years, he could be here a long time and give us great resale value. His value is likely only to go up , now that Real Sociedad is entering the Champions League and he is a key piece.
I'd love either of these guys and ,to borrow some metaphors I Iearnt today, Asier Illarramendi would be to Chelsea what cheese is to paella and Milan Badelj would be the hazelnut at the heart of Chelsea's Ferrero Rocher.
(Feel free to check out my WAGNHSSS if you like my targets.)