I don't understand this comparison of Xabi and Barry. Clearly Xabi is a fantastic passer, with power and presision, both sideways and between the lines. Barry is a passer, but not in a million years of the same quality as Xabi. And the argument about Barry being more of a goalscoring threat than Xabi...Nonsense! Xabi's role in 4-2-3-1 does not give him the freedom to go forward that much, and if Barry plays there he wont score goals either.
Barry is class, but sorry, I can't see why he is as good as Xabi.
If we sell him, I think we will slip further from the other 3. He gives the team that extra passing skill which none of the others (and certainly not Barry) has.
I feel sad inside, because I really feel as if he's going to be sold.
Please please don't sell him!
I don't think Rafa is content to have just Mascherano as a senior holding player. Alonso is not a ballwinner and Plessis is still too young, which is why we're going after Barry. He's better for the balance of the squad overall.
It would be fantastic to have Masch, Barry AND Alonso to rotate. But Alonso's potential transfer value and our current financial situation make him an expensive luxury.
Especially when you factor in Lucas. Selling Alonso gives our young Brazilian international the opportunity to step up. Certain parties believe he could be every bit the player Xabi is given the chance.
On top of that, in Barry's favour, he's formed a great understanding with Gerrard, and is more of a leader than Alonso, with the type of mentality needed to win titles. He's also more consistent, more versatile (able to play left mid or even left back if needed), and as the stats for last season will tell you, isn't all that bad a passer himself.
I'd hate to see Xabi go as much as anyone, but it might be time, sadly. Head ruling heart, it makes sense.