Arsenal are one of several sides who have taken a liking to Club Brugge defender Odilon Kossounou, whose stock is rising across Europe.
The 20-year-old Ivorian broke into the starting lineup earlier this season and has impressed at the back for Brugge, who have risen to the top of the Pro League, boasting the division’s best defensive record by some margin.
Kossounou has played as a centre-back for 25 of his 26 appearances in all competitions, yet The Mirror describe him as a midfielder and suggest that Arsenal see him as a potential long-term solution to their lack of creativity in the position.
It’s claimed that Mikel Arteta is looking at players like Kossounou in anticipation of losing both Dani Ceballos and Martin Odegaard when their loans expire at the end of the season, which might make sense if we weren’t talking about a centre-back here.
Kossounou has played in defensive midfield on one or two occasions in the past for both club and country. He usually does a decent job there, but please do not think he is anything like a Ceballos or an Odegaard. It’s chalk and cheese, and you’ll be very underwhelmed by his return of one goal and one assist in 40 appearances.
The Mirror also state that Kossounou would cost around the £8.5m mark, whereas The Sun see his price tag at closer to the £20m mark.
This second report doesn’t mention Arsenal whatsoever and instead focuses on interest in Kossounou, whose position they (surprisingly) get right, from Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Nuno Espirito Santo is keen to bolster his back line this summer, but he faces competition from both Inter and AC Milan, who have been quoted that £20m fee when enquiring about the Brugge defender in recent months.
There has also been some interest from Liverpool, who considered Kossounou in January but turned to Ozan Kabak instead, bringing the Turk in on loan from Schalke with a view to a permanent deal at the end of the campaign.
Wolves’ involvement in this story certainly comes off as credible, but it’s hard to take the links to Arsenal too seriously. After all, the report massively undervalues Kossounou and suggests that he’s the answer in creative midfield. That’s a big no no.
Arteta may well be keen, but let’s wait for information from somewhere else that doesn’t seem completely speculative.