Brighton & Hove Albion’s Yves Bissouma believes he is the best Premier League midfielder.
Bissouma, 25, initially joined the Seagulls from Lille in 2018, but he started just 17 Premier League games during his maiden campaign as the club stayed in the division by only two points, with Graham Potter succeeding Chris Hughton as a result.
Since the former Ostersund and Swansea City boss took to the Amex dugout in 2019, Bissouma has transformed into one of the Premier League’s most dynamic, robust and competent central midfielders, underlined by Brighton’s current position in the table.
Potter’s men currently sit fourth in the Premier League after five matches, winning four of those contests, including a recent 2-1 triumph over FA Cup holders and Europa League side Leicester City, with Bissouma once again shining in the middle of the park.
The Ivory Coast-born Mali international has established a fine double-pivot partnership with Adam Lallana in Potter’s wing-back system, which caters for more creative types in the heart of midfield, and together, the duo have worked well in tandem to keep Brighton’s system ticking over.
Lallana will pull the strings further back, almost as a deep-lying playmaker, while Bissouma will operate as a buffer, anchoring the midfield, procuring the ball and screening the backline, a job he executes with merit, and one he believes makes him stand out from the rest.
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Talking to Brighton legend Glenn Murray on Football Focus, Bissouma gave this response when asked who he considers the best midfielder in the Premier League at the minute: “I don’t want to be arrogant, but it’s me because in my head I am working to be the best.
“So I cannot say another name, I know in the Premier League there are so many good midfielders, but for me, it’s me because that gives me the confidence and the energy to work hard to show people I am here and I am Bissouma.
“I just want to be focused on football, to play in every game, every week to be good, to help my team win and the rest we will see.”
Bissouma may be known for his ball-winning exploits, making the most tackles of any Premier League midfielder since the start of last season (120), the second-most interceptions (76) and the fourth-most possessions won in the middle third (168), but those defensive metrics slightly belie his ability on the ball.
The Mali international currently ranks in the top 10 among midfielders for most completed take-ons (61) since the start of 2020/21, while he has a penchant for a long-ranged screamer, notably his 30-yarder against Burnley, his chest-and-volley vs Everton, or his ‘worldie’ against Blackpool in last season’s FA Cup.
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