Yves Bissouma could be the perfect addition to Arsenal’s midfield this summer.
The Gunners’ engine room has been a little lighter during pre-season, which is expected given Dani Ceballos has returned to Real Madrid and Granit Xhaka is on holiday after Euro 2020.
Although, the latter is unlikely to be an option for Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta next season as the Switzerland international has already agreed personal terms with AS Roma and all that remains is for a fee to be sorted between the two clubs.
As a result, the north London outfit could kick-off the new season with Thomas Partey, Mohamed Elneny, Albert Sambi Lokonga and potentially Joe Willock as their midfield options.
But with a big overhaul expected to take place in north London after failing to qualify for Europe for the first time in over two decades, strengthening in central midfield is a top priority for Arteta and technical director Edu.
Brighton’s Yves Bissouma is one name that has been heavily linked with a move to the Emirates Stadium.
Arsenal’s interest in the 24-year-old was first revealed back in January, and since the end of last season, a number of fans have made it clear that he could be the perfect midfield partner for Thomas Partey.
And that just might be the case.
As seen in the image below, Bissouma had quite the impressive campaign in what was a mixed 2020/21 season for Brighton as they finished two places, yet 13 points, above the relegation zone.
The data collected by FBref shows his defensive actions put him in a conversation with the likes of Chelsea star N’Golo Kante, Manchester United captain Harry Maguire and West Ham United’s Declan Rice.
Bissouma made 60 interceptions in the Premier League last season which is only two fewer than Kante (62), one fewer than Maguire (61) and more than any Arsenal player
Furthermore, Bissouma completed more interceptions and tackles combined (114) than any player in the Premier League last season which may indicate he is perfect for the Gunners’ midfield.
Given Kante has long been regarded as the king of interceptions and winning tackles, for Bissouma to be up there with the Frenchman shows Arsenal could sign their ‘own Kante’ if they can reach an agreement with Brighton.
After all the Gunners tried twice in the past to land the France international, as confirmed by Arsene Wenger.
“He is one of the most influential midfielders I’ve seen play football,” Wenger told beIN Sports during the 2018 World Cup. “He constantly makes simple decisions and never overcomplicates it.
The summer window is officially open, and it’s going to be tough to keep up with the comings and goings in and out of the Emirates.
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“Have I looked to sign Kante? Yes. When he was in France and when he was at Leicester. I cannot explain everything but it is quite obvious when you look at where he has gone.
“Was it the money? I do not want to talk about that. Transfers are transfers – you cannot explain absolutely everything
Reports claim that it would cost in the region of £40m to get a deal done for Bissouma and the Gunners won’t want a repeat of when they missed out on signing Kante several summers ago.