After finishing fourth in Ligue 1, Saint-Etienne are looking to strengthen their side with the signing of Liverpool target Nicolas Isimat-Mirin this summer.
One of Liverpool’s previous defensive targets could be available this summer if reports in the French press are to be believed. 22-year-old defender, Nicolas Isimat-Mirin has become a target for Ligue 1 club Saint-Etienne and if Brendan Rodgers has been keeping tabs on the young defender he could make a move for the centre-back this summer.
When Liverpool were last interested, Isimat-Mirin was playing for Valenciennes and was highly regarded as one of the best young prospects in Ligue 1. Between the age of 12-15, he graduated from the famed INF Clairefontaine academy, then there was a failed spell at Rennes impressive youth set-up before he finally moved to Valenciennes in 2009.
Isimat-Mirin would go on to play 80 games for the northern club before Monaco took him south for €4 million last summer.
This season Isimat-Mirin’s career has completely stalled at the Stade Louis II. He only made 6 appearances during the league campaign, five of them starts. The former French under-21 international was dealt a further blow when the club signed Aymen Abdennour from Toulouse on loan in January, and the Monegasque club have the option to sign him, which looks like will go through this summer.
With his contract not due to end until the summer of 2017 there is a good chance that Monaco will cut their losses with Isimat-Mirin and look for a buyer this summer. Saint-Etienne are faced with the prospect of losing Kurt Zouma, unless he returns on loan.
Isimat-Mirin would be an excellent signing for any side right now. He is still very young, and now he has something to prove. The move to Monaco hasn’t worked, he is unlikely to win a lot of playing time next season, but that doesn’t mean he can’t play at that level.
Liverpool have four senior centre-backs plus the 23-year-old Sebastien Coates on loan at Uruguayan side Nacional. However, for a fee of around €2.5 million, the signing of Isimat-Mirin would be relatively low-risk but could have great rewards attached.
As a defender he is commanding in the air, intelligent with the ball at his feet and an uncompromising defender. He has the potential to be a leader of men when he learns and develops his game further and under the guidance of Rodgers at Liverpool that could be sooner rather than later.