Brighton plotting move for Reims midfielder Marshall Munetsi

Brighton and Hove Albion are interested in signing Reims midfielder Marshall Munetsi, with manager Graham Potter viewing him as a replacement for Yves Bissouma.

Marshall Munetsi

Having entered the final year of his contract at the Amex Stadium, the Seagulls decided to cash in on Yves Bissouma, who joined Tottenham on a £25m plus add-ons deal last week. Bissouma played a vital role for Graham Potter’s side as they finished ninth on the table last season, and his departure has left a big void in the squad which Brighton wants to fill with Marshall Munetsi.

Munetsi, 26, joined Reims from Orlando Pirates in 2019 and has gone on to make 75 appearances for the Ligue 1 club. He endured an injury-hit 2021/22 campaign but was influential when fit, registering five goals and two assists in 24 Ligue 1 appearances.

While the combative Zimbabwean midfielder did sign a new deal with the French outfit in May, it is understood Reims would be willing to sell him for around £7 million. Should Brighton agree a fee for Munetsi with Reims, he would become the club’s second summer signing following the capture of Paraguay wonderkid Julio Enciso from Club Libertad.

Brighton keen on replacing Yves Bissouma

Brighton must address the hole created by Yves Bissouma’s departure, and while it won’t be an easy task given the Mali international’s influence in midfield over the last few seasons, the club is actively scouring the market.

Graham Potter does have some talented midfielders in his ranks but none of them offer the bite, tenacity and stability that Bissouma provided. In his eight Premier League appearances during the second half of the last campaign, Moises Caicedo showed flashes of his potential to become that player for the Seagulls but he is too young to be relied upon.

Thus, it is imperative Brighton get in a replacement for Bissouma on a priority basis.

Can Marshall Munetsi be that player?

Marshall Munetsi has been a solid performer for Reims ever since arriving at the club three years back. The Zimbabwean can operate in different central midfield roles including as a deeper No.6, box-to-box No.8 and a more advanced No.10, whilst filling in at centre-back when required.

The recently-turned 25-year-old was limited to just 24 league appearances last season due to his stint on the sidelines but he still managed to make an impression when fit with his performances apparently not going unnoticed by Graham Potter.

Smart both on and off the ball, Munetsi can initiate attacks from a deeper midfield role. He has the attributes to replace Bissouma in Potter’s possession-based system at the Amex Stadium. By allowing Pascal Gros, Enock Mwepu and Adam Lallana to play in their natural positions, the Bulawayo-born star can assume a more central yet effective role.

It looks like there’s a deal there to be done for Munetsi, and if Brighton can bag his signature for close to £7 million, it would represent a significant coup.

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