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‘Really happy’: Klopp delighted 25-year-old won’t be playing for Inter Milan against Liverpool

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Jurgen Klopp says he is pleased that Nicolo Barella can’t play in Liverpool’s game against Inter Milan tomorrow.

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Klopp was speaking in his pre-match press conference via Blood Red: Liverpool FC on YouTube (2mins 8secs).

The Liverpool manager said that having watched Inter’s win at the weekend, he is ‘really happy’ that Barella is suspended for the second-leg.

“When you saw the game you are really happy that Barella is not playing, because I think he set up I think three or four (in Inter’s last game).”

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Barella was missing from the first-leg after a red card in Inter’s final group stage game against Real Madrid.

There was hope that he would be back available for the trip to Anfield. But as the suspension was upgraded from one to two games, Barella won’t make the journey to Merseyside.

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Watch Klopp’s interview below: 

How good is he

Barella is something of a talisman for the Nerazzurri. Although Klopp was right to highlight his brilliance, he actually assisted two of Inter’s five goals last time out against Salernitana on Friday.

That put him on nine assists for the Serie A season. Only Domenico Berardi of Sassuolo has more in the Italian league this season.

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That’s two more than the seven he claimed from central midfield last season as Antonio Conte’s side won the title for the first time in 11 years..

Barella is an all-action midfielder who can score, create, tackle and pass. There were even some rumours last summer that Liverpool were pursuing the player.

The 25-year-old starred as Italy won the European Championship at Wembley last July, scoring once and claiming two assists.

It is fortuitous for Liverpool that Barella won’t have been involved in either leg of the Champions League tie.

Inter were on top for large parts of the first-leg. But without Barella’s passes to slice through the Reds’ back-line, they weren’t able to penetrate as Virgil Van Dijk and Ibrahima Konate stood strong.

Liverpool will still have to deal with the physicality of Arturo Vidal and Marcelo Brozovic, as well as the invention of Hakan Calhanoglu.

But without Barella, Inter are a significantly weaker proposition. No wonder Klopp is happy.

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