Josh Holland has dropped an exciting claim regarding reported Aston Villa target Ibrahim Sangare.
Speaking recently to Football FanCast, the transfer insider insisted that the PSV Eindhoven midfielder could well be making a move to the Premier League in the near future, while he dished out praise for the £14.4m-rated man following his stunning displays for the Dutch outfit in recent times – including in the recent European Conference League meetings against Leicester City.
Asked about the 24-year-old, Holland said: “He reminds me of Wilfried Ndidi, in a sense of his structure and how he’s tall but he’s not a big, strong player. He’s quite niche in how he moves across the pitch.
“I think he’s destined for a move to the Premier League, whether that be to Leicester or to Villa. I think both clubs need a defensive midfielder, so it’s going to be an interesting battle for them to bring him in”.
It has proven a fairly tricky start to life back in English football for Villa boss Steven Gerrard – with nine wins and ten defeats since his appointment back in November – with the former England international seemingly hoping to strengthen this summer in order to kick on again next season.
Having already snapped up Philippe Coutinho and Lucas Digne back in January, the 41-year-old is now turning his attention towards the club’s next notable capture, with Sangare potentially the man on their radar.
Recent reports have suggested that Gerrard went on a scouting mission last month to watch the 17-cap international in action at the King Power Stadium, having also kept a close eye on his current teammate, Noni Madueke.
Recruiting a new defensive midfielder appears high on the priority list this summer, with the club lacking a genuine holding player at present, relying on the more attack-minded Douglas Luiz to fill in in the absence of the stricken Marvelous Nakamba.
There have been links to Leeds United’s £60m man Kalvin Phillips to solve that problem role, although the club can secure a quality and much cheaper alternative in Sangare – who is rumoured to cost in the region of £3om.
While he may be half the price of the Englishman, he is certainly not half the player, having enjoyed a fine campaign for the title-chasing Eredivisie outfit.
The former Toulouse man – who has been dubbed “extraordinary” by former coach Aad de Mos – has registered a hugely impressive 3.3 tackles and 2.4 interceptions per game this season in his 26 league outings, while also winning 72% of his aerial duels.
Not just a midfield destroyer, however, he is also a smooth operator in the ball, having also completed 74% of his total dribbles and achieved an 86% pass accuracy rate thus far.
The Villans are seemingly crying out for an all-around presence in midfield, with Sangare the perfect fit for what Gerrard is after.