Aston Villa are leading the way in securing the signature of Brighton and Hove Albion and Mali midfielder Yves Bissouma.
The Lowdown: Long-term target
That is according to transfer insider Dean Jones who was speaking to GIVEMESPORT, stating that he believes Steven Gerrard’s side are in pole position to sign the 25-year-old, despite interest from other Premier League clubs this summer.
The same report also suggests that it is believed that the club are pressing ahead in their attempts to sign the Mali international, despite the fact they have already acquired another midfielder in Boubacar Kamara from Marseille as a free agent.
Bissouma has been on Gerrard’s radar for a long time, with the club having had a bid for the Brighton superstar turned down back in January.
The Latest: Villa leading the way
Brighton looked set to demand £50m to sell their prized asset back in January, but with the midfielder now coming into the final 12 months of his deal at the AMEX, it is unlikely that Graham Potter’s side would be able to justify that price-tag this summer.
“They’ll [Tottenham] have massive competition to sign Bissouma and it seems that he’s probably further along in negotiations with other clubs,” said Jones.
“Somebody like Aston Villa might already be in the lead with trying to get him.”
The Verdict: A huge upgrade
Bissouma, who current boss Potter has described as “Champions League level,” would prove to be a significant upgrade on Villa’s 2021/22 midfield options for the campaign.
According to FBref, the Mali superstar is in the top 9% of midfielders across Europe’s top five leagues for pass completion per 90 minutes this season (89.7%), whilst he also ranks in the top 10% for both completed dribbles per 90 (1.32) and clearances per 90 (2.17).
When compared with Villa’s midfield options for the season just gone on FBref, Bissouma’s stats compare favourably, with his pass completion significantly better than second-best Douglas Luiz (83.3%).
He ranks second-best in dribbles completed, but it must be taken into account that Morgan Sanson, who ranks top amongst Bissouma and Villa’s other midfielders according to the same stats provider, has only attempted seven dribbles this campaign, six of which he has completed, compared to Bissouma completing 31 of 44.
And the Mali superstar ranks highest in clearances compared to his competitors with his 51 clearances trumping that of second-best John McGinn, on FBRef.
The 25-year-old would be a superb addition at Villa Park and would likely walk straight into Gerrard’s midfield, should the club stump up the money Brighton want for the midfield man.
Looking at his stats and 2021/22 performances, you would suggest that he would be worth every penny.