Tottenham Hotspur have finally announced the signing of Yves Bissouma from Brighton on a four-year contract, much to the delight of Spurs fans everywhere (Tottenham).
While Tottenham fans are well aware of the quality Bissouma can bring, especially after his masterclass against the Lilywhites last season, we wanted to get some further insight into the player by speaking to a life-long Brighton fan.
Who better to speak to than the founder of BHA Today, LetsTalkBHAFC podcaster, and freelance journalist, Charlie Haffenden.
In response to email questions from The Spurs Web, Charlie said:
What are Bissouma’s key strengths and weaknesses?
Yves Bissouma is a proper box-to-box player of being a right menace in the third attacking. But his best attribute is undoubtedly the overall energy he brings to a midfield, and his desire to win possession back for his teammates.
Brighton’s positive possession play quite often can lead to the ball being given away cheaply, but Bissouma being in the team made this far less of an issue. You’d have your heart in your mouth but then Bissouma would mop it up and start another attack. He’s exceptional at that.
In terms of weaknesses, I’d probably have to say the lack of consistent accuracy with long shots is up there. Don’t get me wrong, Bissouma can score an absolute belter from time to time, but – a bit like Thomas Partey at Arsenal – many fall way wide of the mark.
This is something he’s definitely improved on in the last few years though, and I’m sure he’ll only mature from now on.
How do you think he could fit into Conte’s back three/counter-attacking style?
I think he’ll fit in very well. Graham Potter’s favored system is very similar to Conte’s and Bissouma has proven himself as a near-enough world-class player whilst playing within it.
He’s someone who will not only work the yards to win back possession, but he’ll drive forward too. With the likes of Heung-Min Son, Harry Kane and Dejan Kulusevski so lethal in the channels, Bissouma will speed up Spurs’ counterattacks even more.
Having his presence anchoring the midfield is great for wing backs, too. It means they can bomb forward with less worry as Bissouma will cover them more often than not. His tackle success rate speaks for himself really.
Yves Bissouma (66.7%) had the best tackle completion rate for players in the Premier League in 2021/22.
The only other player above 60% was N’Golo Kante, with 65.6%.
— Charlie Haffenden (@JournoHaff) June 14, 2022
Will Brighton be sad to see him go? Or was this just an inevitable step in his career?
Of course, it’s absolutely devastating to arguably lose your best player – it would be for any side – but even more so for Brighton given he’s so key to the way they operate. I think most Seagulls supporters are trying to see the positives with this deal, though.
£25m – around £30m with add-ons – for a player with 12 months left on his contract isn’t bad at all. A year or so ago he was probably worth double that, but you’d argue Albion wouldn’t have had a top-half finish without him.
I think it was worth keeping hold of him, and now is the right time to let him go. A sad goodbye, and a hell of a bargain for Spurs, but fond memories to look back upon.
Should Spurs fans be excited?
Yes is the simple answer, and I don’t quite think they’ll know just how good he is until he’s hitting the ground running in a Spurs shirt.
Bissouma is more than ready for the Champions League and I think he’ll be key in helping Spurs retain their place in the top four for years to come. He really is that good. There’s a reason the likes of Liverpool, Real Madrid and Manchester United have been circling for so long.
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