Brighton FC

Yves Bissouma would be a brilliant addition for any of the Premier League's top six

Jude Summerfield
May 1, 2021, 5:45 PM GMT+1
Bissouma was brilliant again against Leeds
Bissouma was brilliant again against Leeds / Pool/Getty Images

From the Amex - It's a harsh reality for most Brighton fans, but it's hard to see midfield star Yves Bissouma staying at the Amex too much longer.

That's not to dismiss the Seagulls and their Premier League quality - they were patient with him when he first signed from LOSC Lille back in 2018 and have given him the platform to perform more regularly this season.

He started just 17 and 15 games in the Premier League in 2018/19 and 2019/20 respectively, but this season the Mali international has improved on that considerably, with his outing against Leeds on Saturday being his 31st of the season.

Yves Bissouma, Mateusz Klich
Leeds' midfield struggled with Bissouma throughout / Pool/Getty Images

Saturday's fixture was the ideal stage again for Bissouma to show his best qualities.

Leeds' energetic midfield - this time comprised of Robin Koch, Mateusz Klich and Tyler Roberts - was unusually sluggish in the opening period, allowing Bissouma to dominate in central areas with his combative style and easy on the eye dribbling.

He doesn't always push high up the pitch but he did against United. His goal record is one area that could definitely do with some improvement, especially in a team that so often fails to capitalise on its pressure and chances.

Thankfully for the Albion, Danny Welbeck and Neal Maupay were noticeably sharper than in recent weeks and pressed well early on, eventually winning a penalty that was converted by Pascal Gross in the 14th minute.

Danny Welbeck, Yves Bissouma
Welbeck and Bissouma celebrate Brighton's second / Pool/Getty Images

So often Brighton fail to make the most of the possession and pressure that Bissouma and his midfield partners earn for them - it being one of the main reasons for their previously low position in the Premier League - but their brightness throughout on Saturday combined with Leeds' slackness helped them to an excellent showing that was rounded off by Welbeck's absurdly awesome turn and finish to secure a 2-0 win.

Bissouma has everything a modern day midfielder in England's top flight needs - he's able to resist pressing with his composed dribbling, more often than not wins his individual battles, and ranks among the better players in the division for interceptions. He made three of the latter against Leeds.

Liverpool have recently been linked. The Reds may need a replacement for midfield hero Georginio Wijnaldum, who has been heavily linked with a summer switch to Barcelona to reunite with his old national team manager Ronald Koeman at Camp Nou.

Arsenal have also been mooted as a potential destination. Thomas Partey was signed in the summer, and while the likes of Granit Xhaka and Dani Ceballos have their strengths, their performances for the most part are far too erratic and often fail to give Mikel Arteta's a proper foothold in games.

Lucas Torreira, Yves Bissouma
Bissouma has been linked with Liverpool and Arsenal / Clive Mason/Getty Images

The platform Bissouma gives Brighton is so important - it's just unfortunate for Graham Potter that his forward options often fluff their lines in front of goal. Thankfully on Saturday, they were sharp enough to secure victory, even if the scoreline should have been more impressive than 2-0.

If the club receives a good offer for their star midfielder in the near future, fans will likely be waving goodbye and be hoping any potential replacement can offer the same assurance in midfield. His calmness on the ball can't be overstated and if any top six side get their hands on him in the summer, they'll have a player more than comfortable playing at that level.

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