Stade Reims defender Axel Disasi is making waves in France, with his form throughout the 2019/20 campaign attracting significant interest – namely from the Premier League.
The 22-year-old has been linked with Arsenal, Tottenham and Southampton in the past, but Nuno Espirito Santo’s Wolves are the latest team mentioned in dispatches.
You may wonder what all the fuss is about – given Disasi isn’t yet a household name – so here’s five things to know about him.
1. He Was a Key Part of Ligue 1’s Best Defence
After Björn Engels departed for Aston Villa last summer, Disasi firmly cemented himself in the Reims starting lineup and instantly improved their defence.
Les Rouges et Blancs went from a side that conceded 42 goals in the 2018/19 campaign to conceding a league-best 21 goals this year. They finished the season fifth, much higher than anticipated – with Disasi playing in all but one of those games.
2. He’s Being Compared to Kurt Zouma
If you’re being compared to Kurt Zouma, then it’s pretty clear that you’re one hell of a strong defender.
French newspaper L’Equipe (via GFFN) did exactly that back in April, likening Disasi’s physicality, pace and aerial dominance to that of the ever-improving Chelsea defender.
If that’s true, he could help dissolve the notion that Arsenal’s centre backs – were he to move there – are somewhat of a soft touch.
3. He Could Be Available for Just £13m
Disasi has been unable to agree terms on a new contract with Reims and with his deal set to run out in 2021, the club are willing to sell the defender at a discounted price – to avoid losing him for free next year.
The Frenchman could be available for as little as £13m, a figure that is appealing to a number of Premier League clubs – even with finances restricted because of the coronavirus.
4. His Brother Is His Agent
So why’s this important? Glad you asked.
While it’s often looked at as unwise to mix business with family, Disasi has spent his career with his brother as his agent, a decision which seems to have played a part in the defender failing to agree a new contract at Reims.
It’s even led to a falling out with club president Jean-Pierre Caillot, who claimed that his interference and lack of market knowledge was a major factor in talks breaking down.
5. Competition Is Fierce for His Signature
Arsenal, Tottenham, Southampton AND Wolves? Not a bad following that Disasi has got there.
But he’s also wanted in the Bundesliga, so any wannabe suitors may have to dust off their cheque books sooner rather than later to avoid missing out on one of Europe’s hottest properties.