Tottenham Hotspur have been handed a breakthrough over one of their mooted summer transfer targets…
What’s the word?
Earlier this month, the North London giants were linked with interest in Brighton and Hove Albion midfielder Yves Bissouma following another impressive season on the south coast.
The Times’ Duncan Castles now claims that the 24-year-old star has asked to leave the Amex Stadium at the end of the season, with the likes of Liverpool, Arsenal and Manchester City all inquiring about his availability.
Should Levy make a move for Bissouma?
It’s thought that the Seagulls are open to a sale as his contract is set to expire in two years time but only if their £30m evaluation is met.
Bissouma cost them only €18m (£16.5m) in the summer of 2018 but he has emerged as one of the most dynamic box-to-box midfielders in the English top-flight.
Levy’s licking his lips
If Spurs are truly interested in the Mali international, as was reported earlier in the month, then this latest development will surely have Lilywhites chairman Daniel Levy brimming with excitement.
There are some similarities to be had with this situation and that of Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg at Southampton, prior to his move to Spurs.
The former Saints captain was slapped with a £35m price tag amid interest from several Premier League sides around this time last year. It was thought at the time that the 25-year-old wanted to leave to play at a higher level.
Levy, being the tough negotiating hard bargain man he is, managed to wriggle down that price to just £15m.
It’s even more impressive that they managed to ship outcast defender Kyle Walker-Peters in the other direction for £12m, meaning the total cash outlay on their new first-choice midfielder was only £3m.
An absolute steal.
Now that Bissouma is available, Levy will surely be licking his lips over the prospects of trying to clinch him on another cut-price deal.
And so he should, as he’s one of the best midfielders outside the top six right now.
Ex-Brighton boss Chris Hughton once hailed the 6-foot monster a “wonderful talent” whilst BT Sport presenter Gary Lineker took to Twitter to wax lyrical about his ability, calling him an “exceptional footballer,” via The Athletic.
Bissouma has been compared to Yaya Toure due to his natural playing style and whilst he has some way to go to match the Ivorian’s impressive numbers in England, you can see some similarities.
As per WhoScored, the Seagulls sensation is averaging 2.8 tackles, 1.7 interceptions and 1.5 dribbles per game.
This is very much akin to Mousa Dembele. A brute force that could read the game perfectly, and one that liked to travel with the ball up the pitch. Bissouma even chips in with 1.2 shots per game, so perhaps he’s unlucky to not have added more than one goal to his tally this term.
Whether he’s the next Toure or the next Dembele, he’ll only have to be half the player of either to be a hit in N17. Now that he’s willing to force an exit, Levy should be ready to win this transfer tussle with his negotiating skills.