Amid transfer speculation linking Milan with a swoop for Paris Saint-Germain starlet Tanguy Kouassi, just how promising is the talented youngster?
With his current contract set to expire this summer, the 17-year-old could be available for a small compensatory fee, as per Calciomercato, who note that the Rossoneri have a serious interest in him and could be willing to put a four or five-year contract offer on the table.
The teenage starlet has come through the youth ranks with the reigning Ligue 1 champions and has made his breakthrough this season with 13 appearances for the senior side, thus attracting increasing attention from elsewhere.
Capable of playing either as a centre-half or a defensive midfielder, his versatility is also another crucial strong point as he could solve two key issues for Milan in terms of providing additional quality and depth in those two areas where we need to improve still.
Finding a long-term partner for captain Alessio Romagnoli has been a problem for years now, and although it would be good to see Matteo Gabbia get a chance to cement his place in the XI next to him having shown positive signs himself prior to the coronavirus lockdown, time will tell if Kouassi arrives to push him for that spot in the coming years.
How good is Kouassi?
The short answer is, potentially very good. As seen in the video below, he possesses good strength, physicality, aerial prowess, reading of the game and recovery pace. On top of that, he looks comfortable with the ball at his feet, and given he’s right-footed, it could provide us with an ideal balance at the back next to our captain.
Given he’s still only 17 years of age though, Kouassi still lacks experience and maturity which will naturally come with additional playing time. In turn, he can only be judged on the raw talents that he currently boasts as there is significant room for improvement, and based on those he looks a real talent and a potentially dominant presence at the back.
Another impressive aspect of his play and style is that he seemingly never looks rushed. He plays at his tempo and is relaxed on the ball, and while that comes with its own concern in terms of perhaps being too relaxed which could invite mistakes, that level of composure in such a young player is arguably a real sign of potential too.
As a low risk, high reward type of signing, it seems to make sense if we can indeed prise him away from PSG. As noted above, it’s hoped that Gabbia gets his chance to build on his breakthrough in the first team and isn’t cast aside, but Kouassi could still be an important addition as a long-term fix depending on what happens with stalwarts Simon Kjaer and Mateo Musacchio moving forward and so it would arguably be a welcome swoop this summer.
PSG expert view
“There’s no doubt that Tanguy Kouassi is one of the most promising young players at PSG,” Ed of PSG Talk told us. “At 17-years-old, he made 13 appearances this season and became the youngest player ever to start a UEFA Champions League match for PSG.
“Kouassi is a versatile defender. PSG manager Thomas Tuchel has deployed him as a center-back and a defensive midfielder. At 6’2”, he’s physically imposing and shows composure on the pitch well beyond his years. He can also use his height to score goals as he showed against Amiens SC this season when he scored two second-half headers to get PSG back into that match that ultimately ended 4-4.
“I am a big fan of Kouassi and will be disappointed to lose him to AC Milan or RB Leipzig. The latest report I read indicated that the Frenchman wants to remain in France but those other two teams are offering him bonuses that appeal to his agent. I think right now, it’s anyone’s guess what will happen.”
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