Juventus’ loss to Hellas Verona recently will not just go down for the game itself and how Fabio Borini and Giampaolo Pazzini scored in 2020. A lot of individual performances caught the eye. Sofyan Amrabat had an impressive performance, but the showing of Marash Kumbulla was immense. And perhaps, it came at the right time.
The 20-year-old defender has only been one of the few undervalued talents at Verona who Ivan Juric has brought the best out of. This is his first season in the top division of Italian football and he’s come up with performances to be proud of. That is why Inter have been heavily linked with a move for the Albanian.
Inter aren’t the only side though. Napoli were close to signing him in January, with Manchester United and Chelsea also keeping an eye on the central defender. But a move to Inter will make sense for Kumbulla and he shouldn’t say no to it.
It is important to know that this isn’t just Kumbulla’s first season in Serie A. This is also his first full season for the Verona first-team. In Juric’s 3-4-2-1 shape, he’s been playing regularly as the right-sided defender and that is one reason for why he fits in at Inter.
Kumbulla is a complete central defender, despite being so young. In what has been an impressive season for Verona, he’s been key to their performances. He’s made 17 Serie A appearances, playing either in the centre or on the right of the back-three.
His defensive teammates in Amir Rrhamani and Koray Gunter have had impressive seasons too. But Kumbulla has been the best out of the lot, winning 1.9 tackles per game and making 1.5 interceptions per game too. While that isn’t the highest, Kumbulla has played 35.9 passes per game with an accuracy of 84.3 percent.
He’s been dribbled past 0.8 times per game. That isn’t an impressive number, but he plays for a side that is flexible in approach. Verona defend deep against bigger sides and attack against other sides. That does lead to an inconsistency in numbers.
He wins 2.6 aerial duels per game, making 2.9 clearances per game too. All that points to how he’s a complete defender and at 20, these numbers will only improve and increase.
Antonio Conte’s side play a 3-5-2 side in every game. While Stefan de Vrij has been one of their best players while playing in the centre of the back-three, Diego Godin and Milan Skriniar haven’t exactly been at their best playing as side defenders. Alessandro Bastoni has grown into a regular role and he deserves credit for it.
Kumbulla is very much used to playing in a back-three. He would add depth to those positions and not struggle like Skriniar and Godin. He is young and like Bastoni, he will only grow into that role over time. More so, Inter would snap up one of the best young talents in Italy and keep him away from other clubs.
Bastoni himself was loaned out to multiple clubs before he became a regular this season. The same can happen with Kumbulla, who perhaps still needs some maturing.