Aston Villa were given a green light in their pursuit of PSV’s Ivorian midfielder Ibrahim Sangare last week.
Earlier this month, a report from Sky Sports issued a claim from a close source detailing Sangare’s ambition that he wants to play in England’s top flight.
Those claims have been reiterated by the player himself who said: “Playing in the Premier League is not only a dream of mine but a dream of every footballer. That is the biggest and most important league in the world.”
In what is a double boost for Villa, it is said that the 24-year-old has a €35m (£30m) release clause in his contract.
Considering his contract expires in the summer of 2025, this is a relative bargain for a player of his standard.
In Sangare, we are talking about a player that Gerrard is crying out for. A hardworking and positionally smart midfielder who can stabilise Villa alongside Boubacar Kamara, both in the possession-oriented and transitional phases of the game – more so in the defensive third.
He would also make for a phenomenal alternative to Yves Bissouma – a very similar kind of player who they seem to have missed out on, with the Malian almost certainly heading to Spurs.
The Ivorian, who has been described as the “complete package”, shines as a ball-winner, achieving 2.8 interceptions per 90, whilst drumming up an average of 2.2 successful tackles per game also. Compared to Bissouma, he edges his 2.34 interceptions per 90 and falls short of the Brighton midfielder’s elite average of 3.11 tackles per game.
Though they are indeed similar players who stabilise the midfield with their defensive solidity and allow others in the engine room more space and opportune to get forward.
With an average of 65.1 accurate passes per 90, he offers stability in possession and would allow a more attack-minded player like John McGinn some attacking freedom, due to his desire to sit deep.
He’s the exact type of player that Gerrard would love and he could well be the cherry on top in what has been an astute bit of business at Villa Park this summer.