One of the Premier League’s standout performers in recent weeks has undoubtedly been Brighton and Hove Albion’s Kaoru Mitoma.
The Japanese wide-attacker has been tasked with filling the void left by Leandro Trossard, who joined league leaders Arsenal last month.
Stepping up to first-team action, Mitoma, 25, has been in scintillating form. Directly contributing to five goals in his last six matches, including a superb winner to knock Liverpool out of the FA Cup, the 25-year-old appears on course to be crowned the Seagulls ‘Player of the Season’.
However, with such impressive performances often comes unwanted attention from other clubs, and former Liverpool attacker Stan Collymore expects Chelsea to be one of the sides to emerge as contenders to sign the Japan international once the summer transfer window opens later this year.
“He’s settled in really well and appears to have replaced Leandro Trossard seamlessly,” Collymore said in an exclusive interview.
Kaoru Mitoma in action for Brighton.
“Obviously, his ability is there for all to see so I’d be amazed if, come the end of the season, some of the bigger teams weren’t making offers for him.
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“He isn’t going to command a huge fee. He’ll have two years left on his deal and he was bought for virtually nothing, around £3m, so from a commercial point of view, even a £30m offer, which would be over a 500 per cent return on investment in just 12 months, would be too good [for Brighton] to turn down. And, as we all know, that kind of deal is something Chelsea’s new owner would lick his lips at.”
Brighton fans will certainly be hoping they can fend off any interest that may come their way. Mitoma is arguably their most in-form player right now, and with the very real possibility of European football…