Steven Gerrard is believed to be in the market for a new defensive midfielder ahead of next season as he looks to build on the solid if inconsistent foundations he has already laid down.
What is the latest news involving Aston Villa?
Current first-choice holding midfielder Douglas Luiz has just over a year remaining on his contract, and according to Football Insider, Arsenal are lining up a move for him.
If the Brazil international departs Villa Park, Gerrard will only have Marvelous Nakamba to call upon at the base of his engine room, meaning reinforcements will surely be required.
The former Rangers manager even admitted in January that Villa had an offer turned down for Bissouma, who is valued at £31.5m by Transfermarkt, but they could try their luck once more when the market reopens for business.
Bissouma’s existing deal, like Luiz’s, is set to expire in the summer of 2023. Therefore, Brighton may be forced into his sale if the Mali international refuses to commit his future to the club.
Meanwhile, Football Insider also claim that Gerrard has personally scouted Kamara, who is set to become a free agent after refusing to put pen to paper on fresh terms.
What has Crook said about Aston Villa?
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Yet when asked who he believes is Gerrard’s number one target, Crook revealed that he believes Bissouma will be at the top of his wish list.
He told GiveMeSport: “I think probably Bissouma (will be Gerrard’s top target) because of that Premier League experience, which I think is important. Kamara as well is someone they’ve been looking at for a while. So, those two would be quite high (on Villa’s list).”
Who would be the better signing?
As per FBref, Bissouma has won 2.17 tackles, made 6.26 successful pressures and pulled off 2.39 interceptions per 90 minutes this season, bettering Kamara’s tallies of 1.81, 6.15 and 2.07, respectively.
On the other hand, Kamara has made 1.44 shot-creating actions, completed 6.09 passes that enter the final third of the pitch and 4.21 progressive passes compared to Bissouma’s totals of 1.05, 2.91 and 2.17.
It’s evident from the duo’s underlying figures that Bissouma is more effective at breaking up the opposition’s play, while Kamara thrives with the ball at his feet.
Gerrard must now decide which sort of player suits his playing philosophy at Villa best and target their signature ahead of next season.