Roberto De Zerbi sets ambitious target for Karou Mitoma after 'very important' decision amid Barcelona interest - and reveals if he can play at Manchester City
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Mitoma signed a new four-year contract that runs until June 2027.
“It’s very important for the future because Kaoru is one of the best players in our team.”
De Zerbi was asked if has spoken with Mitoma ‘about what he can achieve at Brighton’.
"Score 20, 25 goals, I think,” the Italian quipped.
"Kaoru can improve when coming inside between the lines of the pitch.
“When he is wider, when he tries one-to-one or tries to attack the space, he is one of the best wingers in the world.
“I think his improvement is when he comes inside, when he receives the ball between the lines. He has to improve in body shape as the assist man and the last part of the pitch, to score more goals.
“He has the quality to score 20 goals.”
De Zerbi confirmed Mitoma is fit enough to play at the Etihad on Saturday after missing Japan’s friendly wins over Canada and Tunisia.
The forward, who has played more football than any of his Brighton teammates this season (905 minutes), was left out due to his ‘physical condition’, according to Japan's official website.
Asked if Mitoma would be ready for the weekend De Zerbi said: “Now he is better. He feels good. He had a small problem but now he is better.”