Aston Villa: 'Exceptional' £50m star could light up Villa Park

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Aston Villa target Yves Bissouma could help the club get ‘into Europe’ once again, according to journalist Josh Holland.

The Midlands outfit last played in Europe during the 2010/11 season, when they lost 4-3 in the play-off round to Austrian side Rapid Wien, but new manager Steven Gerrard has outlined his ambitions to take them back to that level.

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“Success in football is always about winning football matches, first and foremost,” Gerrard said recently. “Long term, the club would like to be back on a European level, I don’t think now is the right time to put any date on that.”

However, with Villa currently lingering in 15th position in the Premier League table and closer to the relegation zone than the top seven, there is a lot of work still to be done to achieve their goals.

The club’s owners have showcased their ambition in the transfer market, though, splashing out around £350 million on new signings since winning promotion back to the top-flight ahead of the 2019/20 season.

And in January, Gerrard managed to pull off the signings of Lucas Digne and Philippe Coutinho from Everton and Barcelona, respectively but revealed he did miss out on Bissouma’s signature.

The former Rangers boss admitted that Villa had a bid ‘turned away’ by Brighton for the Mali international during the winter, but they could revive their interest over the coming months.

What has Holland said about Bissouma?

Holland believes that Bissouma could be tempted to join Gerrard’s revolution in the summer before progressing ‘even further’ if he impresses at Villa Park.

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He told GiveMeSport: “Obviously, Gerrard and Villa went in for him in the January transfer window, and it didn’t really work out. And Brighton are not having the best second half of the season, so it could be that he decides that he wants to go elsewhere.

“Bissouma is the sort of player that could help Villa get into Europe, and then if he does well enough, he could progress even further, and Villa could make a profit on him.”

How much could Bissouma cost?

According to The Athletic, Brighton placed a £50m price tag on Bissouma, who Gary Lineker previously described as “exceptional”, during the January window as they looked to keep hold of one of their top performers.

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Nevertheless, the defensive-minded ace will only have a year left to run on his contract once the current campaign concludes, meaning the Seagulls may be forced to lower their asking price.

With Douglas Luiz heavily linked with a switch to Arsenal, Villa could view Bissouma as his natural heir and the midfielder needed to guide the club back to continental competition.

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