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Tottenham: Yves Bissouma stars despite defeat to Liverpool

Tottenham’s performances this term have been perplexing to say the least.

Antonio Conte’s side look frightened of attacking in the first half and only come alive in the second, a trend that has been seen all too regularly of late.

Spurs were 2-0 down against Bournemouth last weekend before eventually winning 3-2 and then had to come from behind against Marseille to save their Champions League campaign in midweek.

They went two goals down again versus Liverpool on Sunday, but unfortunately this time they couldn’t turn things around.

It was hardly a surprise that their best football came after Dejan Kulusevski’s introduction. The Swede has spent time on the sidelines but supplied Harry Kane’s goal on his return to action.

It wasn’t enough, however, with the Londoners eventually losing 2-1. Emerson Royal once again disappointed at wing-back but despite the performance, it wasn’t all doom and gloom for Conte.

Indeed, he should be delighted with the performance of Yves Bissouma.

The Mail international has taken a while to settle at Tottenham since his £25m move from Brighton last summer but is now starting to move through the gears in the capital.

The 26-year-old has still only started six times in the Premier League this term but on this evidence, he certainly deserves more game time under the club’s Italian tactician.

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He was a force in the middle of the park, with some suggesting it may have been his best outing in Tottenham colours yet.

That was certainly the viewpoint of journalist Gareth Davies who said: “Bissouma’s best game for us by a mile.”

The midfield “monster” – as dubbed by Aaron Stokes – was a calming influence in the middle of the park, offering Conte a host of positives. Indeed, Bissouma completed 100% of his dribbles, bursting forward when presented with the opportunity. Furthermore, he was successful with 100% of his tackles, demonstrating he also knows how to get stuck in.

In 75 touches of the ball, the former Brighton star’s pass success rate stood at an impressive 91% as he kept things ticking over centrally.

Spurs may not have been able to withstand Mo Salah at his best on Sunday but Bissouma certainly tried to aid their cause.

On another day, his physical performance may have been enough to help them take home all three points.

The challenge for the Malian now must be to remain more consistent. It’s clear he’s immensely talented talent at this level but you are never going to start every game when your positional competitors are Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Rodrigo Bentancur.

That’s unless, of course, you are an elite talent. It’s now up to Bissouma to prove that he is.