Low-cost Koulibaly: 6 things you should know about Arsenal-linked Reims starlet Axel Disasi

Low-cost Koulibaly: 6 things you should know about Arsenal-linked Reims starlet Axel Disasi

The Gunners have emerged as keen admirers of the talented Reims centre-back and Tribuna.com takes a look at our reported transfer target.

  • Background

Several trusted sources reported Arsenal's interest in Reims defender Axel Disasi over the last few days. The 22-year-old broke into the first team last season and has made 27 Ligue 1 appearances this season.

The centre-back is of Congolese descent and is a youth graduate of Paris FC. He earned three caps for France U20.

  • Asking price

Reims are expected to demand no more than £13m for Disasi and this figure may even go down due to the effects the coronavirus will have on the transfer market.

  • Dominant centre-back

Standing at 6ft 3, the Frenchman is a very physical defender capable of shielding the ball with his body. He wins an average of 2.8 aerial duels per game and is a massive threat in the air in dead-ball situations. Disasi is not afraid of going forward and occasionally uses his pace to run with the ball.

  • Excellent passer

The 22-year-old is really good with the ball at his feet. Axel averages 84.6 per cent of completed passes per game. He is capable of starting the team's attacking moves with long balls (4 per game). The defender's delivery skills fit for a side that priorities ball control, like Arsenal.

  • Weaknesses

Disasi has recorded a rather low number of successful tackles and interceptions. However, both stats may boil down to the fact that Reims play with a rather deep defensive line so centre-backs do not really push higher up to get hold of the ball before the opposition moves into the final third.

Axel tends to foul too often (1.4 fouls per game) and there are many situations when his positional awareness lets him down, leading to unnecessary tackles.

  • Similar player: Kalidou Koulibaly

How Koulibaly came to greatness:

While the Napoli defender may be among the top 5 centre-backs in the world, Disasi looks like a rather unexperienced, stripped-down version of the 28-year-old. They possess similar stature and are very comfortable with the ball at their feet, capable of pushing forward and playing in advanced positions.

However, Koulibaly is also known to be a very 'clean' and intelligent player who fouls only when he has no other options. Good decision-making comes with experience, though, and Kalidou was far from the player he is today even in his first season in Naples.

Give Disasi one or two seasons of learning under the careful guidance of Mikel Arteta and Arsenal will have a good chance of nurturing their own Koulibaly at the Emirates.

Do you think the Gunners should land Disasi? Tell us in the comments or in our newly-launched blogging platform!

AuthorAleksei BlokhinSourceTribuna.com

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