It is not easy to finish runners-up to the league title two seasons in a row. Once is enough, but twice? That is just cruel. Unfortunately for PSV, it is fate that has befallen them. With an Erik ten Hag-led Ajax side in full flow, the opponents stood no chance. Things may get worse for PSV in the current transfer market. Several of their stars are drawing heavy interest, with Ibrahim Sangare at the top of the list.
🗞 Chelsea and Manchester United are both interested in signing the PSV star Ibrahim Sangaré
He himself is confident he will become a Premier League player next season 💪 pic.twitter.com/0vBDsBVTZI
— Football Daily (@footballdaily) June 8, 2022
The dominant central defensive midfielder has been a marvel over the past few years. His qualities on the ground and aerially have seen him become one of the best midfielders in the Eredivisie.
PSV are known for developing young talents like Mohamed Ihattaren who became one of the best young forwards
Manchester United, Liverpool, and Chelsea are just a few clubs closely monitoring his situation. So, what does Sangare bring to the table that has seen Europe getting all starry-eyed over him?
Ibrahim Sangare joined PSV from Toulouse in 2020. In the two years since he has developed into a 6’3″ 170-pounds behemoth. But he was always a phenomenal ball player. In 2019-20 with Toulouse, Sangare averaged 6.24 progressive passes, 5.12 passes into the final third, and 3.55 tackles per 90.
Ibrahim Sangaré p90 in Ligue 1 19/20:
6.24 progressive passes
5.12 passes to final 1/3
Would be interesting to see him in the Premier League. 🔎 pic.twitter.com/eGOLLXrPX5
— Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) May 5, 2020
Those are the kind of numbers that make him a marvel in the centre of the park. Sangare is extremely quick in transitioning to attack from defence, without compromising on his tactical nous.
The 24-year-old is always looking to pass forward, into the team’s forward stars like Dutch star Cody Gakpo and rising talent Noni Madueke. His physical dominance and ability to time tackles have seen him boss the Dutch top-flight.
Ibrahim Sangaré (22) on his PSV Eindhoven debut.
• 13 ball recoveries
• 8 of 10 long passes completed
• 5 interceptions
• 3 of 3 tackles made
• 2 shot assists
Job done. pic.twitter.com/wKkrQEgbLb
— Scouted Football (@scoutedftbl) October 18, 2020
Sangare is a special talent, who is not afraid of doing the dirty work. Moreover, even when he is not contributing to his side’s attacking prowess, Sangare has the potential to strengthen the defence. PSV had the third-least goals allowed (42) and the second-best goal difference (44).
— Andy McGregor (@elpivoteftbl) March 10, 2019
Sangare has been a big part of PSV going toe-to-toe with Ajax in 2021-22. A deeper look at his stats will seek to further elucidate on just how talented Sangare has been.
Ibrahim Sangare stats and form
Sangare is a defensive midfielder so three goals and two assists in the league is normal. It is the other areas where he excels at. A combined 169 tackles (95) and interceptions (74) were the highest among all players in the Netherlands. Additionally, Sangare also recorded 14 blocks.
💪 Ibrahim Sangare made more tackles and interceptions combined (169) than any other player in the Eredivisie this season pic.twitter.com/MF39dm6UyK
— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) May 31, 2022
He has pass success ratio of 86.1%, alongside a 54.5% cross success ratio. Sangare’s physical capabilities is made clear with an average of 12.7 duels per 90, and winning 62.8% of them.
One of the best aspects of Sangare’s game is how effortlessly he escapes pressure from the opponents. That is clear through 2.53 dribbles attempted per 90, being successful 69.1% of the time.
🇨🇮 Ibrahim Sangare v. Kobenhavn:
• 6 long balls completed
• 9 ground duels won
• 2 successful dribbles
• 6 tackles
• 70% duels won
• 100% take-on success
• Clean sheet ✅
Market value: €16m
PSV into the Conference League quarterfinals. pic.twitter.com/gLxHkjAAvG
— Matchday365 (@Matchday365) March 17, 2022
Sangare created 22 chances in 2021-22, and was the major reason why PSV’s attackers were able to score so freely. Moreover, they did not have to track back on defence on too many occasions, with Sangare lapping up everything that falls to him.
However, he can be caught out if there are speedy attackers charging at him, which has happened a few times. Sangare has fouled 35 times, but has also won been fouled 34 times by the opposing teams.
Ibrahim Sangare scout report
Ibrahim Sangare was the only player in the Eredivisie to make more than 1.5 tackles, 1.5 dribbles, 1.5 interceptions, and 50 passes in every match. That speaks volumes of why so many big clubs are after him.
According to Soccerment, Sangare’s three goals came from an xG of 1.52, meaning he can be clinical when going forward. He had an xOVA of 1.35 and an xT of 2.12, which included 1.61 from passes.
If you're looking for Africa's next great midfielder, keep an eye on Ivory Coast's Ibrahim Sangaré
In the Eredivisie he is #3 in tackles, #4 in interceptions and #9 in dribbling!
As complete a midfielder as you can find pic.twitter.com/C5TSqf3m0m
— Maher Mezahi (@MezahiMaher) January 16, 2022
Moreover, Sangare attempted 15.7 defensive actions and 10.1 defensive duels. These metrics are better than his French counterpart Aurelien Tchouameni, who has signed for Real Madrid.
So, Tchouameni is off to Real Madrid. Ibrahim Sangare was named as player on Liverpool's radar. His output isn't too dissimilar. pic.twitter.com/GVxVOMC0iI
— Sam McGuire (@SamMcGuire90) June 7, 2022
Sangare has been a star in the making ever since his Toulouse days, with tackling and intercepting his forte. It will be very interesting to see him continue his development at an elite club competing for silverware.
Transfer on the horizon?
There is no doubt that Sangare will be on the mover sooner rather than later. The PSV star is on the shortlist of many clubs in England, alongside PSG too. Manchester United need to sign players, and Erik ten Hag is extremely familiar with Sangare.
The Red Devils’ lack of a world-class defensive midfielder has been evident for some time. Sangare could be the perfect addition.
Ibrahim Sangare transfer profile 👹
Manchester United look like they'll be battling all summer for transfer targets, and Ibrahim Sangare might be the perfect fit pic.twitter.com/e1ZB870MYm
— Man United News (@ManUtdMEN) June 8, 2022
Chelsea, under new owners, are looking for their own successor to N’Golo Kante if the Frenchman leaves.
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Liverpool are in the midst of signing goal-machine Darwin Nunez, are als looking to upgrade from James Milner and Jordan Henderson. Moreover, even Manchester City could get in on the action, given Fernandinho has left the club.
Liverpool have already snapped up rising star Fabio Carvalho to add to their front three
PSV midfielder Ibrahim Sangare reportedly has a release clause of £34m and wants a move to the Premier League this summer.
Is he someone you’d like to see Liverpool go for? pic.twitter.com/JM8v1x1uAT
— Anfield Edition (@AnfieldEdition) June 10, 2022
Sangare is said to be favouring a move to the Premier League, and those dreams could become a reality soon.
Therefore, whichever team gets him will have a serious gem on their hands for years to come. Sangare only needs to translate the successes he has found already to his new club.