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Each time the world cup comes around, new stars are born, the transfer market goes crazy and the world is an open mic stage to stardom for every footballer involved. Who will be this year’s previously unidentified flying object and earn a big money transfer to one of Europe’s football powerhouses just like Colombia James Rodriguez did in Brazil 2012.
The Sensible Soccer World Cup blog will bring scouting know how direct from the battlefield of English Premier League recruitment directors and chief scouts. Our blog will be opening the lid on just who is being watched ahead of Russia’s six-week footballing bonanza.
Recruited by Boca Juniors from Deportes Tolima in his native Colombia in the 16/17 season. He predominantly features as the anchor-man in a 3-man midfield. Barrios was an integral part of the Boca side that claimed their 33rd title this season, appearing in 23 of their 27 league games. Over the duration of the season, Barrios averaged 3 tackles, 2.8 interceptions and 0.3 key passes per game with a pass success rate of 84.4%.
However, for the Colombian national team, Barrios has typically been used as a rotational option for the ageing Aguilar (33) and Sanchez (32). Should either of these players suffer an injury, loss of form or suspension Barrios is likely to be the man to step in, where he may be able to make one of the defensive-midfield positions his own. Whilst this may limit his game-time on the world's biggest stage, Tottenham are reportedly already circling and with his release clause rumoured to be around £14.5m, the North Londoners may not need much convincing to activate that clause.
With Colombia drawn against Japan, Senegal and Poland in their group the Tricolors will be expected to reach the last 16 where they are likely to face Belgium or England. With a competitive group and rotation necessary over a World Cup campaign, Barrios is likely to get his chance. One or two solid performances may be all that is required to convince Spurs to purchase him before broader European clubs begin to take notice.