Why Aston Villa’s £50m man could be the missing piece to Steven Gerrard’s puzzle

The transfer window for Steven Gerrard and Aston Villa has already been a historic one for the club, as fans were delighted to see Philippe Coutinho in a claret and blue shirt over the past few days.

To add to this, it looks like Lucas Digne is also on the way, as Villa have secured the signing of the former Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain defender.

The excitement doesn’t seem to end there, with rumors swirling that the hierarchy at the club is still pursuing a possible deal with Brighton for defensive midfielder Yves Bisouma. A figure of around £50m has been quoted, but with only 18-months left on the players’ contracts, if a deal were to be struck, Villa would look likely to reduce it.

With a serious injury to Marvelous Nakama and a lack of a defensive-minded midfielder within the team, Bisouma’s signing could provide Steven Gerrard with the right player in midfield and possibly allow the players around him to flourish .

Villa currently has an array of talent in midfield with the likes of Douglas Luiz, Morgan Sanson, Jacob Ramsey and Carney Chukwuemeka all fighting for the starting role. However, these players have one thing in common that none of them want to play the role of a holding midfielder.

Luiz has been able to do this and has on several occasions, but as anyone who watches the Brazilian knows very well, his talent excels on the pitch when he is given more freedom to move.

Bisouma is the anchor in the midfield which this team desperately needs. Per game, he ranks in the top ten percent of Europe’s top five leagues for tackles (3.9) and interceptions (2.3), with 95% of his tackles stemming from the defensive and midfield third of the pitch.

Bisouma would sit at the front of the defense, breaking up the opponents’ game and making assets and counterattacks for his side, where the players around him could flourish. His discipline and defensive intelligence would give men like John McGinn and Ramsey the necessary freedom to advance and contribute attacks.

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The Mali International is also capable on the ball himself, both through his passing ability and progress. He records an average pass accuracy of 88.5%, as well as just under five progressive carries, two entering the final third and two player dribbles past. Nakamba is often praised for his defensive efforts, but before Gerard’s arrival, he lacked a smattering of possession.

It improved before his injury, which is why fans were very disappointed to hear the news, but it does underscore what Gerrard expects from his ‘number six’, and Bisouma can totally do it.

Bisouma has been linked with clear links to Liverpool and Arsenal as well as Villa, and it is clear to see why. He has the defensive instinct and quality on the ball that every successful modern day man needs, and this may be the final piece of Gerard’s Villa puzzle.

£50 million is a huge price-tag for a player demanding and if it were not for his current contract status, many would be inclined to agree with the figure given the quality of the player he has.

Before the window opened, Villa fans would have scratched their eyes in disbelief if someone had told them about their current business in the window. Villa owners already aren’t shying away from statement transfers, saying it won’t come as a shock if they splash for the Brighton midfielder before the window closes.

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