Aston Villa could sign their dream long-term successor to Idrissa Gueye in Brighton midfielder Yves Bissouma.
The Athletic’s Gregg Evans has recently reported that Steven Gerrard’s side will go back in for the Malian in the summer transfer window after seeing a bid for him rejected by the Seagulls in January.
With reports speculating that Villa midfielder Douglas Luiz has been on the radar of fellow Premier League side Arsenal ahead of a potential move, Gerrard could well see the Brazilian ace go and sign Bissouma this summer as a way to bolster his midfield.
As per Whoscored, the Mali international has averaged an incredible 3.6 tackles per game in the Premier League this season, while he also makes 1.9 interceptions too – compare that to those in the Villa squad, and he’s simply far better, with absolutely no-one matching him in either category.
In fact, the 25-year-old is among the top-flight’s best, with only Leicester City’s Wilfred Ndidi able to match his tackles per match, while he ranks inside the top ten for interceptions.
That ability to break up play so effectively and efficiently is something that hasn’t been seen since Gueye’s time at the club.
He made 38 appearances in his one and only season at Villa Park, before the club’s relegation to the Championship effectively sealed his fate. Everton were the club to step in and take him off their hands, activating his release clause of £7m – Tony Xia even admitted on Twitter that “if he wants to go, we are powerless”.
And, when you compare Bissouma’s aforementioned stats with Gueye’s, they are very much alike in nature, with the latter only just making more tackles per game in the English top-flight with 4.1.
Meanwhile, Bissouma’s former teammate at Brighton, Dale Stephens, said: “He’s got the ability of perhaps a winger playing in central midfield with the way he can go past players. His feet are incredible and I’m sure he’s going to get better and better. He’s got everything you need to be a top player.”
The arrival of the £22.5m-rated star would more than make up for any potential departure of Luiz this summer, and go a long way to finally replacing Gueye in the middle of the park at Villa.