Why do Liverpool reportedly want £40m defensive specialist?


Why do Liverpool reportedly want £40m Yves Bissouma?

Liverpool want Yves Bissouma, according to reports. So why would the Reds spend £40m on the 24-year-old?

The Express claims Liverpool want Yves Bissouma. They want him before the end of the transfer window, too, and have made an enquiry about the player.

Brighton would want around £40m for the Ivorian – a potential bargain in our mind. As the article says, they got £50m from Arsenal for Ben White and we think Bissouma is a far superior player.

But why is that? And what would the 24-year-old bring to Liverpool?

Why Liverpool would want Yves Bissouma

Bissouma’s spot would primarily be as a Gini Wijnaldum replacement. Though, he’s certainly not like-for-like.

Bissouma can’t match Wijnaldum on the ball. The Dutchman kept an incredible 92% pass completion last season, for instance – that’s very difficult to get near.

Instead, Bissouma is more of a defensive specialist. He’ll break down counter-attacks, he’ll stop dribbles, and his energy makes him hard to escape.

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For instance, Bissouma averaged around three tackles per game last season. Only three other midfielders could top that.

They were Wilfred Ndidi, Allan and Oriol Romeu. Importantly, though, all three of them were dribbled past more often than Bissouma.

Players only get past the Brighton man at an average of 0.9 times per game. For the other three? 1.5, 2.8 and 2. Massive differences.

And Bissouma did that while playing slightly more advanced than the other three. Which is exactly what Liverpool would want.

Fabinho is the sitting player, after all, and Bissouma would play ahead of him, much as Wijnaldum did. Liverpool would want the player to push out and press.

Photo by GLYN KIRK/AFP via Getty Images

And that shows why Bissouma would be such an asset. Right now, Fabinho is really the only ‘defensive’ midfielder that Liverpool have. You can argue Jordan Henderson, too, but he’s more of an all-rounder.

Thiago, James Milner, Naby Keita, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Curtis Jones and Harvey Elliott are the other options. All of them are forward-thinking players who want the ball.

Bissouma would be an option to add more solidity, then. And at just 24, he could conceivably hold that role for a long time to come – long after Henderson, Thiago and Milner are gone.

So that’s why Liverpool would want Bissouma. He’s a stylistic fit who offers something they don’t really have, while also being a long-term addition.

For £40m, he could be a steal.

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