Inter Milan have a difficult decision to make in the coming months regarding Gabriel Barbosa. The Brazilian forward has enjoyed a great 2019 season with Flamengo and is coming off a two-goal performance in the 2019 Copa Libertadores final against River Plate. The Brazil international has settled himself as one of the best attackers in the CONMEBOL region, but his loan spell ends at the end of the year and he needs to return to Inter during January.
There is one thing, though. Inter own his rights, but they don’t really want him back in the squad. Following a short spell where he scored one goal in 10 matches for the Giuseppe Meazza outfit, Gabigol has been on loan at both Santos and Flamengo. But it has been with the “Red & Blacks” where he has reached his peak form.
Not even the fact he has scored 31 goals in 38 matches for Flamengo (counting both the Serie A and the Libertadores) has made Barbosa appealing for Inter Milan. The Neroazzurri already have Romelu Lukaku, Lautaro Martinez and Alexis Sanchez on the current squad. Adding Gabigol would be too much, especially considering Antonio Conte does not change his 3-5-2 tactic.
What should Inter Milan do with Gabigol?
The Serie A giants feel it would be best to part ways with Barbosa, as several European teams have already enquired about him. Inter are asking around £25 million to let him sign elsewhere, and Crystal Palace have already emerged as a possibility. More suitors should arise closer to January, especially if Barbosa ends up having a strong performance in the 2019 FIFA Club World Cup with the Brazilian giants.
Selling him would be a mistake, though. We’re not talking about a player who’s already past his prime or even close to his peak. Gabriel is 23 years old, only one year older than Lautaro Martinez. Knowing Alexis is 30 and Lukaku is 26, adding Gabigol to the mix could allow Inter to have a top-notch attacking unit for the upcoming decade if they do not make too many changes. That’s a luxury few teams in the world could have.
Sure, parting ways with Gabigol could allow Inter to strengthen other areas of the pitch. They need to boost their central midfield depth, and could use another wing player as well. But they would regret if they decide to sell the Brazilian striker. He is one of the most promising forwards in the world. And if they part ways with him, there’s no way they will get it back.
At the very least, Gabigol deserves the chance to prove he can settle in the Serie A this time after a torrid first spell in the league. He has earned that following his great 2019 year with Flamengo.
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