Graham Potter's surprising response to Yves Bissouma and Arsenal transfer link

Arsenal have been linked with a January swoop for Brighton's inform defensive midfielder Yves Bissouma

Thursday, 3rd December 2020, 9:02 pm
Brighton's Yves Bissouma is wanted by Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta

Bissouma, 24, has been impressive for Brighton this season and it has not gone unnoticed by Gunner boss Mikel Arteta, who is said to be a huge admirer of the Mali international.

Bissouma has established himself as a key figure in Brighton's midfield this campaign.

The departure of Dale Stephens to Burnley and injury to Dutch international Davy Propper allowed Bissouma to take centre stage and he has made the most of his opportunity.

The powerful and competitive midfielder signed for Brighton from Lille in July 2018 for £15m but he initially struggled to force his way in Graham Potter's team at the start of last season.

Potter however has since been impressed with his development and said his tactical awareness and consistency has improved this season.

Bissouma, who is contracted with Brighton until 2023, mostly operates as a defensive midfielder but he also an eye for goal.

He scored at Everton during the 4-2 loss and also netted with a fine long range strike at Burnley on the final day of last season.

The Albion head coach is rarely one to indulge in transfer speculation and was supremely relaxed when asked about Arsenal's interest.

"I have never been a coach that worries about losing a player," said Potter.

"If you worry about losing players to teams higher up the hierarchy – because that’s ultimately what it is – and the club think selling the player is the right thing to do, then it’s a result of doing something well.

"I don’t think you should ever worry about that. It’s part of football and a lot of it is talk, speculation or nonsense.

"There’s always truth as well somewhere, but I am not worried about anything. I am just helping the players to improve, to get them to the highest level of performance that I can and then we will see."

Bissouma will likely be action once more for Brighton this Monday as sixth placed Southampton visit the Amex Stadium.

Impressive defender Ben White, who continues to linked with a move to injury-hit Liverpool, is also set to play.

Potter insists White, who was also wanted by Leeds during the summer, is far too focused to have his 'head-turned.'

"I have no worries about Ben getting his head turned. He is a level headed guy who wants to play football and of course he wants to do it at the highest level, just like you want all those players to have those ambitions.

"He gets on with his work and he was totally professional in the summer despite the noise from outside the club, which you can’t control.

"He knows that, he’s a smart guy and we will carry on with our work and help him to enjoy his football, which is the most important thing."