Brighton star Kaoru Mitoma has been likened to Manchester United legend Ryan Giggs amid reported transfer interest from Arsenal. The Japan winger has earned huge praise following his fine start to the new season with the Seagulls.
Mitoma burst onto the scene last term with seven goals and five assists in 33 Premier League appearances. He has started this campaign strongly with a goal and two assists in his first two outings.
Brighton are top of the table following wins over Luton and Wolves. Mitoma’s solo effort against Wolves on Saturday has seen him compared to Giggs.
Former Chelsea and Aston Villa forward Tony Cascarino says there are similarities when Giggs was in his prime. He told talkSPORT: “Mitoma is on another level. I said to you off-air that it is like watching Ryan Giggs at his very best.
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“He is direct. I was lucky and very fortunate, Ryan Giggs at the start of his career, I was watching him and playing against him.
“He was frightening, Ryan Giggs. He would just run at you when he was a winger. Obviously, he changed his game. But Mitoma just goes at people for fun.”
Comparisons to one of the Premier League’s greatest wingers will only increase interest in Mitoma. One of the clubs reported to have expressed a likeness to the player is Arsenal.
TalkSPORT claimed earlier this month that the Gunners were among the teams interested in the 26-year-old. Brighton are determined to keep hold of Mitoma following the high-profile exits of Alexis Mac Allister and Moises Caicedo this summer.
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Arsenal have already been informed of a timeline for a potential deal for Mitoma. In April, Brighton boss Roberto De Zerbi outlined his intention for Mitoma to stay for another season.
The Italian said it would be best for all parties if he had one more year on the south coast before accepting a big offer. De Zerbi said: “He needs to stay here one more year, for him and for us.”
A deal next summer may suit Arsenal. Mikel Arteta has spent over £200million on signings in this window and will unlikely sign another player in Mitoma’s position before the September 1 deadline.
Mitoma has entered the final two years of his contract at Brighton. The Seagulls will likely attempt to pen him down to a new long-term deal in order to protect his value, just as they did with Caicedo following the January transfer window. The midfielder has since joined Chelsea for a British record fee of £115m.
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