Why Yves Bissouma Is One Of The Premier League’s GREAT Midfielders

Yves Bissouma is one of the most highly thought-of footballers currently playing outside of the Premier League’s ‘traditional top six’. Over the past couple of years, he has bossed Brighton and Hove Albion’s midfield and registered the all-round sorts of numbers one would expect to see from an ever-present force in a title-winning team. 

However, his journey from inconsistent rotation option to being on the scouting list of most major clubs in the country is less talked about by those who like to bet on the Premier League. So, here’s exactly why Yves Bissouma is one of the Premier League’s GREAT midfielders. 

Inconsistent Beginnings

Yves Bissouma was signed by Chris Hughton’s Brighton and Hove Albion in July 2018 on the back of an impressive campaign with Lille in Ligue 1, though it’s fair to say the then-21-year-old arrived in England as a bit of an unknown quantity. 

Despite being signed on a five-year deal for a reported £15 million, Bissouma initially struggled to find much of a consistent run of things in the Brighton midfield, with Hughton often calling upon his preferred trio of Davy Propper, Dale Stephens, and Pascal Gross. 

Bissouma was certainly seen by the majority of fans as an undoubtedly special talent, with several glimpses of the star quality knocking just underneath the surface, however it was clear that this more free approach to the game was always going to be at odds with  Hughton’s pragmatic and disciplined approach.

Throughout his first season on the south coast, Bissouma made just 17 starts in the Premier League, with the majority of those appearances either coming in a midfield three in a 4-3-3 or as a number 10 in a 4-4-1-1, neither of which was his preferred position as a box-to-box midfielder. 

Breaking Through

Chris Hughton was dismissed at the end of the 2018/19 campaign, with Swansea boss Graham Potter being drafted in to create a better brand of football for the Seagulls. 

And whilst Potter’s first season with Brighton saw regular rotation between the likes of Bissouma, Stephens, Propper, and newcomers Aaron Mooy and Steven Alzate, the Mali international was at least deployed in the midfield pivot. 

The postponement of the 2019/20 Premier League campaign and subsequent Project Restart in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak was the first indication of Bissouma becoming more of a mainstay in Potter’s midfield, and the following summer transfer window saw Dale Stephens and Aaron Mooy both moved on, leaving Bissouma as the first name in the midfield heading into the 2020/21 campaign. 

A Stellar Campaign 

Brighton and Hove Albion might not be regular favourites in most Premier League betting odds heading into a matchday, however, in Bissouma they have unearthed a player that is absolutely top of the league. 

Throughout the 2020/21 campaign, Bissouma made more tackles than any other midfielder in the league with 104, recovered the ball 271 times, and won 227 duels, easily comparable to the likes of Fabinho, Rodri, and N’Golo Kante at the top end of the league table. On top of that, the Malian successfully managed 1.4 successful dribbles and created 1.2 chances per game, showcasing his remarkable all-round ability as a box-to-box energetic recycler of the ball. 

Continuing To Impress

And Bissouma’s excellent form has continued into the 2021/22 campaign this season, with Brighton only losing once in their first seven games to nestle themselves firmly in the Premier League’s top six. 

Along with Rodri and Kante, Bissouma is one of only three midfielders in the Premier League to have a successful defensive duel percentage higher than 70%, almost double what the likes of Scott McTominany and Fred have combined at Manchester United. With stats like these, it’s clear to see why so many fans of some of the traditional ‘big six’ have been calling out for their clubs to pick up the Malian. 

Despite the obvious good work done and progress made by Graham Potter at Brighton, even the Seagulls head coach has said the club has to be ‘realistic’ about the chances of keeping hold of the Malian midfielder. Bissouma is an absolute box-office midfielder, more than capable at the highest level in the Premier League and beyond, and the likes of Liverpool, Manchester United, or Arsenal would all do well to keep an eye on the Malian as the season continues to develop. 

Whilst the Malian’s contract expires in 2023, Brighton is run by savvy heads that know the value of their players, with Ben White’s whopping £50 million switch to Arsenal being a prime example of this in effect. There lure of the big six in the Premier League is nevertheless hard to turn down, and there’s no doubting whoever decides to steal Bissouma away from Brighton will see their stock in the Premier League betting markets soar on the back of acquiring such an undoubtedly talented footballer.