Liverpool have been linked with a move for Brighton and Hove Albion midfielder Yves Bissouma despite intense interest in the player’s services.
According to the Daily Star, the Reds are set to battle it out with fellow Premier League outfit Arsenal for the highly-rated 25-year-old’s signature in January.
The report states that: “Bissouma is one of their top targets, though they will have to fend off competition from Mikel Arteta’s Gunners if they are to bring him to Anfield.”
Bissouma has entered the final two years of his current contract the Amex Stadium, meaning the winter window is likely to be the last chance for Brighton to secure a high price for their prized asset.
After arriving on English shores back in 2018, the combative dynamo has established himself as one of the best midfielders in the top-flight, racking up 101 appearances for the Seagulls in all competitions.
He featured in all but two of Brighton’s league games last season, highlighting his importance to Graham Potter’s side, and when looking at his underlying numbers, it’s easy to understand why.
As per WhoScored, Bissouma recorded an average of 2.9 tackles per game, the highest total amongst his teammates who made over three appearances in 2020/21.
The Mali international also outperformed his colleagues when it came to interceptions, making 1.8 per Premier League fixture, but it wasn’t just his off-the-ball work where he excelled.
Bissouma achieved a passing accuracy of 87.4%, the third-highest tally in the whole of the Brighton squad, showcasing his adeptness at kickstarting attacks as well as breaking up the opponent’s play.
They’re all attributes that led to Gary Lineker labelling him an “exceptional footballer” on Twitter and would serve him well should he make the step up and join Liverpool over the coming months, and Reds manager Jurgen Klopp needs further reinforcements in his engine room.
The departure of Gini Wijnaldum has left the Anfield outfit short of options in the middle of the park after no replacement was signed over the meaning, especially after Harvey Elliott suffered a dislocated ankle in the opening weeks of the new campaign.
It remains to be seen whether the teenager’s injury forces Liverpool into the transfer market in January, although the arrival of the £22.5m-rated Bissouma would be a significant boost to their chances of success.