Home Untold stories Report: Why Yves Bissouma is exactly the profile Tottenham needed, plus his...

Report: Why Yves Bissouma is exactly the profile Tottenham needed, plus his stats compare to current options.

BURNLEY, ENGLAND - AUGUST 14: Yves Bissouma of Brighton and Hove Albion during the Premier League match between Burnley and Brighton & Hove Albion at Turf Moor on August 14, 2021 in Burnley, England. (Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images)

Yves Bissouma Tottenham.

Yves Bissouma has completed his medical ahead of a move from Brighton & Hove Albion to Tottenham Hotspur for an initial fee of around £25million, although that figure could rise to over £30 million including add ons.

The 25-year-old underwent his medical at Tottenham’s training ground on Thursday with an official announcement expected in the coming days.

Bissouma is a player the club have reportedly been looking at ever since the departure of Mousa Dembele in 2019 and is now poised to become Antonio Conte’s third signing of the summer after the arrivals of goalkeeper Fraser Forster and winger Ivan Perisic.

He started 26 league games for Graham Potter’s team in 2021-22, scoring one goal. He was an invaluable part of a team that finished ninth in the table — the highest ever finish in the club’s history.

Why did Conte sign Yves Bissouma?

Even based solely on his two performances at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium last season, there are plenty of reasons why Conte is interested in the imminent new signing Yves Bissouma.

Tottenham have lured in one of the best managers in the world in Antonio Conte to bring back the good olden days. However, and this may seem obvious – the answer to the riddle is simple: smart and clever recruitment is about 80% of it.

In just a day before that FA Cup meeting with Brighton, Conte delivered a scathing review of Tottenham’s transfer mistakes- Tanguy Ndombele and Giovani Lo Celso.

“We paid a lot for Ndombele and it was the same for Lo Celso and Gil. Then when you’re in the situation, you understand very well which is the best solution for the club and the players in this moment.” Conte said.

He added that Spurs needed to be signing players equipped for the rigours of the Premier League using Gil as an example.
“This league is different,” he said. “If you compare this league with other leagues, you play another sport here”

“For this reason, when you go to sign a new player, you have to consider many aspects. You can be good with quality, you can be creative but, at the same time, you have to be strong physically. You have to run a lot, to be resilient. The impact of this league is not simple. You have to check many aspects and not go on emotional things”

In Bissouma, Spurs are signing someone who has established himself as one of the Premier League’s most accomplished defensive midfielders since signing from Lille in 2018.

Tottenham’s Yves Bissouma On-the-ball.

In an era of high pressing systems, it now must be standard for midfielders to receive the ball in tight spaces and evade pressure. Bissouma has this in abundance.

Yves Bissouma Tottenham.
(Credit: The Athletic)

His link-up play volume (81 out of 99) and ball retention ability (78 out of 99) are high, which shows that he often keeps his passing short and simple and rarely gives the ball away. Allied to that exceptional carry and dribble volume, it suggests that he could be the “regista” that Conte has been yearning for since he took over — someone who can drop just in front of or alongside the centre-backs and start attacks from deep positions, as Marcelo Brozovic did for him at Inter Milan.

He has the sense of breaking down opposition midfield lines — something that is really demanded from midfielders in the game today. He may not be a serial chance creator but his job is to supply the pre-assist for goals and set up the assister in the right sort of position.

Yves Bissouma Off-the-ball.

Bissouma’s work off the ball is just as intelligent and savvy as his work on it. Whereas good work in possession relies more on the eye test, data is a good signal as to how effective someone’s defensive work is.

His ability to win the ball back is another bonus largely because many midfielders are destroyers and others are mere ball carriers.

Yves Bissouma’s defensive coverage since joining Brighton. [credit: Squakwa]
Bissouma does both the jobs very reliably and covers lots of distance, as his heatmaps above clearly shows. That screams of him being a very complete midfield package.

Yves Bissouma Tottenham. 

Bissouma ranks very high for tackles, interceptions, and clearances. This will not be a surprise to anyone who watches the Mali international constantly.

He doesn’t press for pressing sake, or cover ground without intent: Bissouma is extremely intelligent in his defensive positioning. He is especially excellent at stealing the ball off opponents in transition.

Have Tottenham finally found Mousa Dembele’s replacement?

Bissouma has been linked with Tottenham ever since Mousa Dembele left the club in 2019.

Tottenham may have found their Mousa Dembele replacement in Yves Bissouma.

Dembele became the fan favourite During his seven years years at the club, providing skill, calmness on the ball and creativity to the Spurs side.

And since his departure, many have argued that the Lilywhites haven’t been able to replace the Belgian in the team, but could Bissouma be that player?

The 25-year-old is similar to Dembele in some ways – with his physical presence, as well as being technically sound and his ability to move the ball quickly between the defence and attack: remarkable assurance and control on the ball, his long-range passing, and his efficacy in pressing and breaking up play makes him a formidable opponent to play against.

Bissouma stats compare with Tottenham’s current option.

Spurs now have an intimidating stable of central midfielders, with Bissouma expected to compete with Rodrigo Bentancur, Oliver Skipp and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg for the central midfield spots. They could yet be joined by Christian Eriksen, whom Spurs are hoping to bring in. Harry Winks will likely leave, while 19-year-old Pape Matar Sarr could be loaned out again.

Yves Bissouma Tottenham. 
[Credit: Football Daily]
Bissouma made more tackles per 90 minutes than any of Tottenham’s central midfield options last season, with 3.2. Hojbjerg managed 2.2, Skipp 2.2, Bentancur 2.4 and Winks 1.5.

The Brighton man also recorded the same number of assists as Hojbjerg with two, only beaten by Bentancur on four. Meanwhile, all five options boasted a passing accuracy of between 88% and 90%.

Bissouma shines brightest when it comes to interceptions per 90 minutes, with his 2.1 compared to Hojbjerg who managed 1.3, Skipp 0.8, Bentancur 1.3 and Winks 1.6.

Either way, it’s the kind of competition for places Conte has demanded, especially with the reintroduction of five substitutes in the Premier League next season.


Yves Bissouma is an extremely talented footballer who over the years has become an increasingly integral part of Graham Potter’s system at Brighton. His move to the league showed promise through glimpses of exciting talent, and now that talent has found himself at his level- Champions League.

Spurs will hope to see him dominating games at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium more regularly.

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