Manchester United targeting Premier League tackle machine

Brighton midfielder Yves Bissouma

Manchester United are amongst a number of clubs keen on Brighton midfielder Yves Bissouma, according to journalist Jonathan Shrager

The 24-year-old has featured prominently for the Seagulls this season, starting all but one of their 14 Premier League fixtures and averaging the fourth-most tackles per match of any player in the division. 

He's certainly impressed during a tricky campaign at the AMEX Stadium and has apparently caught the attention of a number of major clubs according to Bissouma's agent. 

The Mali international's representative has told Shrager that Manchester United, Liverpool and Arsenal have "significant" interest in Bissouma, while Monaco and two clubs from La Liga are also keen. 

The midfield department is one worthy of thorough examination at Old Trafford. Paul Pogba appears destined to leave Manchester United in the summer, while Donny van de Beek is yet to cement a place in the first-team and Scott McTominay, Fred and Nemanja Matic have been rotated throughout the campaign. 

But is Bissouma the signing to remedy Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's engine room conundrum or should United be looking elsewhere? GIVEMESPORT writers Christy Malyan, Jack Saville and Jonathan Gorrie give their verdicts below...

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Jack Saville

"Bissouma certainly plays with a swagger and authority that suggests he's more than capable of making the step up to Manchester United, and he could be a budget replacement for Pogba given Mino Raiola's recent claim that "it's over" for his client at Old Trafford.

"Bissouma is valued at £11.7m by Transfermarkt but one would imagine that Brighton would seek a fee in excess of the £15.2m they paid for him in 2018.

"Though the 24-year-old is not as supremely talented as Pogba, his all-action style of play - including 3.3 tackles and 1.5 dribbles per game this season - bears similarity to the divisive France international. He'd be an excellent addition if Ed Woodward can strike an agreement below £30m."

Jonathan Gorrie

"If I were Woodward, I would be going all out for this signing.

"Sadly for all involved, clearly that isn't the case, but Bissouma's ability as a box-to-box midfielder simply cannot be ignored.

"Ranking fourth-highest in the Premier League in terms of tackles per game, the Malian would give United much more of a bite in midfield, even if many believe they're over-stocked in that area as it is.

"Still, with Pogba and his agent seemingly desperate to instigate a second divorce at the club, space will surely naturally open up and no midfield player in their squad can match Bissouma's ability to win possession back. As United largely act as a counter-attacking team, that could be crucial, much as N'Golo Kante was at Leicester City.

"Comparisons beyond that between the two are lazy, however. This season, Bissouma has shown an impressive ability to play the ball forward himself in that he's averaged a progressive passing distance of 156.6 yards per game (via FBRef), whereas Kante was much more of a 'destroyer' during his days at the King Power Stadium.

"More mobile than an aging Nemanja Matic, Bissouma's ability to operate as either a No.6 or a No.8 would give United even more options."

Christy Malyan

"Don't get me wrong, I rate Bissouma and the control he's given Brighton in midfield in certain games this season has been thoroughly impressive. But I'm just not convinced he's ready to step all the way up to Manchester United's level."

"In fact, with Liverpool - arguably the best team in Europe - apparently keen as well, there's an argument to suggest the Mali midfielder is being massively overhyped right now. Tellingly, news of interest from major clubs stems from Bissouma's agent, the man who'll get a big wad of cash if he can force a move for his client any time soon. 

"I can certainly see Bissouma moving a few rungs up the Premier League ladder, but as things stand I think a club of Everton, Wolves or Leicester's stature - those teams just outside the division's elite - is a more appropriate challenge for him. 

"As far as United go, I'd be targeting Wilfred Ndidi instead. He's a similar kind of midfielder to Bissouma but having already established himself as one of the Foxes' most important players, the jump up to Old Trafford would be a lot smaller than the leap Bissouma would have to take to become a Red Devils regular."

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