Why Axel Disasi could be the answer to Norwich City’s defensive woes
According to claims from French outlet Foot Mercato, as relayed by The Pink’Un, Norwich City have registered an interest in French centre-back Axel Disasi, who currently plies his trade with Stade Reims in the Ligue 1.
The report adds that although a host of other European clubs have also scouted the 21-year-old defender, the Canaries are the only club to have shown genuine interest in Disasi.
However, Norwich City could have their work cut out in ironing out a deal for the defender during the mid-season trading period, with Reims unlikely to jeopardize their European ambitions by cashing in on their prized asset (Foot Mercato h/t The Pink’Un).
Born in France to parents of Congolese descent, Axel Disasi rose through the youth ranks of Paris FC before earning a move to Stade Reims in 2016.
Having made 13 league appearances during the club’s promotion-winning 2017-18 Ligue 2 campaign, Disasi was restricted to just 4 league outings the last term, as Reims comfortably beat the drop.
The former French U20 international has really come of age this term to establish himself as one of the mainstays of David Guion’s playing XI, starting each of Reims’ first 13 Ligue 1 fixtures so far.
In fact, Disasi has been an indispensable component of a backline that has shipped only 6 goals till date, which is the best defensive record in the entire division.
The 21-year-old has been one of the key cogs of an overachieving Reims unit and his potential hasn’t eluded the eye of Norwich City, who currently find themselves locked in a relegation dogfight at the bottom of the Premier League standings.
As per whoscored, Disasi has averaged 49.7 passes per game at an accuracy rate of 84.7, including 3.3 long balls, 1.1 tackles, 1.2 interceptions, 3.8 clearances and 3 aerial duels per game in the Ligue 1 this season, numbers which speak volumes of his well-rounded attributes as a central defender.
To put things into perspective, Norwich City need fresh faces in January, following an injury-hit start to the campaign that has left them struggling for survival in the Premier League. To that end, Disasi could be a smart addition to the ranks.
Injuries to Christoph Zimmermann, Grant Hanley and Timm Klose have rendered Daniel Farke short of quality cover at the back, with Sevilla loanee Ibrahim Amadou forced to partner England U21 defender Ben Godfrey in an unfamiliar central defensive role.
The result has been there for everybody to see, with Norwich shipping as many as 28 goals in 12 league fixtures so far, just one less than fellow relegation contenders Southampton, who have the worst defensive record in the Premier League with 29 goals conceded.
Notwithstanding the fact that bringing in attacking reinforcements should be a priority moving forward, Norwich would hardly have a chance of beating the drop with such a porous and backline.
Disasi, though still relatively unproven and inexperienced at the highest level, seems like a player in the right age bracket.
Disasi, 21, is still very young for a centre-back and while his lack of previous Premier League exposure makes him a gamble for a relegation-threatened side, the Frenchman has the potential to make a name for himself.
Also, if Norwich do end up getting relegated to the Championship, having a player of Disasi’s calibre in the squad would definitely be a massive boost.
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To that end, signing developing players with a lot of potential like Axel Disasi could be the right way forward.