Aston Villa have been dealt a setback in their pursuit of Brighton midfielder Yves Bissouma, with the south coast club having no desperate need to sell one of their star players in order to generate funds.
According to Sky Sports, the 25-year-old is in no rush to leave the Amex Stadium this month, despite interest from the Seagulls’ Premier League rivals Villa. Moreover, Brighton manager Graham Potter has stated that he is “confident” Bissouma will stay at the club beyond this month.
The Malian’s focus will currently be on his country’s fortunes at the Africa Cup on Nations, with Sky stating that his future will become clearer once he has returned to the UK from international duty. However, the midfielder did admit back in September that it would be his “dream” to play for a Champions League club after Manchester United and Liverpool were linked with swoops.
Last week, The Athletic reported that a fee of around £50m will be demanded by Brighton if they are to let their midfield maestro depart after three-and-a-half years on the south coast. In that time, the 25-year-old has impressed massively, with Gary Linker labelling him “exceptional” last April.
Although a deal for Bissouma may be completed in the summer, Gerrard will be desperate to add a quality midfielder to his ranks, especially with Marvelous Nakamba expected to be out until April with a knee injury.
Moreover, according to SofaScore, the 25-year-old has averaged a rating of 7.21/10 in the Premier League this season. That’s significantly superior to Luiz’s 6.95 and Nakamba’s 6.65, although McGinn is averaging a slightly better 7.35.
Last season, Bissouma made an impressive 104 tackles and 64 interceptions in 36 Premier League appearances, an average of 2.9 tackles and 1.8 interceptions per game. This term, the Malian has improved, averaging 3.6 tackles and 1.9 interceptions per match, whilst also posting a 71% dribble success rate and 89% passing accuracy.
It is clear as to why numerous clubs, including Villa, are circling around the Brighton midfielder and why his price tag is substantial. There is little doubt that Bissouma would improve Gerrard’s midfield, but the 41-year-old may have to be patient if he wants to bring the Malian to Villa Park, or else look elsewhere if an immediate solution is required.
As it stands, the manager may well be gutted that his team’s chances of landing the 25-year-old this month appear slim at best.