Exclusive: Liverpool take final step in vetting process; interest in £40m midfielder hotting up

Liverpool have taken a step towards making their interest in Brighton midfielder Yves Bissouma that bit more official after making enquiries over his personality and character.

The Athletic reports that Brighton and Hove Albion will only Yves Bissouma if they receive an offer they cannot refuse which would need to be more than £40million as club owner and chairman Tony Bloom isn’t under financial pressure despite the pandemic.

Liverpool are in the market for a midfielder as Georginio Wijnaldum closes in on a summer exit. Barcelona are in the driving seat in the race to secure his signature although Inter Milan’s proposal is yet to be rejected.

Bissouma has been profiled as the ideal replacement for the Dutch midfielder, with his strong tackling, ability to resist a high press and calm passing identified as key attributes.

NORWICH, ENGLAND – JULY 04: Yves Bissouma of Brighton and Hove Albion looks on as he warms up prior t the Premier League match between Norwich City and Brighton & Hove Albion at Carrow Road on July 04, 2020 in Norwich, England. (Photo by Joe Giddens/Pool via Getty Images)

Bissouma’s ball-winning ability, however, is where he truly shines. Smarterscout have given him a score of 84 for his ground duels when out of possession. This metric is specifically used to measure how good a player is at winning the ball from opposition players, as Bissouma excels at pinching the ball from attackers.

With Liverpool’s system hugely dependant on winning the ball cleanly high up the pitch before exploiting the available space, Bissouma’s tackling makes it easy to understand why he’d be top of Jürgen Klopp’s list of Wijnaldum replacements.

With Fabinho alongside him, the duo could establish a formidable relationship as the Reds look to return to their defensive best. Adding Ibrahima Konate and getting Virgil van Dijk and co. back fit will be hugely important in reducing the number of goals conceded.

LONDON, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 29: Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez of Liverpool combine to block out Eden Hazard of Chelsea during the Premier League match between Chelsea FC and Liverpool FC at Stamford Bridge on September 29, 2018 in London, United Kingdom. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED BY MIKE HEWITT/GETTY IMAGES.

The Reds have conceded 39 times in the Premier League this term which is 19 more than leaders Manchester City. That’s the comparison we need to be making because Liverpool are still on the level of the Cityzens when they’re able to field a fully fit side.

Make no mistake: a fully fit Liverpool is still the best team in Europe.

Michael Mongie
Football Central Media Group founder, owner and editor.

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