Yves Bissouma is destined to join Arsenal against competition from Tottenham Hotspur and Roma, but who will Mikel Arteta’s interest in the Brighton midfielder now impact at the Emirates Stadium?
Arteta is eager to sign Bissouma this summer as the Spaniard strives to strengthen his engine room. The Gunners suffered with insufficient numbers in midfield during the closing months of the Premier League season, as the club’s bid for qualification to the Champions League ultimately fell just short.
Granit Xhaka enjoyed the most appearances in deep-lying and central roles with 26 games, ahead of Thomas Partey on 24. Yet Arteta showed substantially less faith in his alternative options, with £17m summer signing Albert Sambi Lokonga only starting in 12 games ahead of Mohamed Elneny in eight.
Bissouma destined to join Arsenal as Arteta steps up interest in Brighton star
Lokonga and Elneny could slip further down Arteta’s pecking order next season with the Spaniard set to strengthen his midfield. Calciomercato report Brighton star Bissouma is destined to join Arsenal in the summer sales, despite the Mali international also earning interest from Jose Mourinho at Roma.
The Portuguese, like Arteta, is searching the market for reinforcements for his engine room, despite his Serie A side nearing a deal for Nemanja Matic. But Arteta is likely to deny Mourinho his swoop on the Amex Stadium, where Bissouma will enter the final year of his £25k-a-week contract come July 1.
Bissouma penned a five year deal with the Seagulls upon joining the south coast outfit from Lille for around £15m in 2018. Now, The Times note Brighton want £30m to sell the 25-year-old, with Aston Villa and Tottenham renewing their interest in a transfer, having failed to agree on terms in January.
Yet Arsenal seem set to win the race, with Bissouma destined to leave Brighton and accept Arteta’s interest this summer. A move to the Emirates would propel the 20-cap technician near to the top of the Gunners’ midfield pecking order, and add a Champions League talent without the UEFA action.
“Yves was really good,” Brighton boss Graham Potter enthused, via The Argus, after he helped beat Tottenham 1-0 away in April. “He understood when to cover and when to release, and when to put pressure on and then you could see his qualities. His high-end actions are Champions League level.”
Arteta now signing the high-energy, patrolling anchor could see some already in north London fear for their status next season. So, with Calciomercato reporting Bissouma is destined to join Arsenal, who already at the Emirates Stadium will be impacted through the Brighton midfielder’s transfer?
Granit Xhaka possibly set to lose top-dog status with Yves Bissouma to join Arsenal
Xhaka could lose his top-dog status in Arsenal’s midfield with Bissouma now expected to join from Brighton this summer. The Swiss often delivered consistent performances as Arteta’s most heavily relied on operator. But his campaign was also littered with costly errors, plus a spate of red cards.
Arteta will still appreciate the leadership Xhaka offers on the pitch, even without the captaincy. The 29-year-old showed he can galvanise his teammates when in need of a result. But the top sides with eyes on the top-four places could often pressure Xhaka and prevent him from influencing matches.
Albert Sambi Lokonga may need loan exit with Yves Bissouma to join Arsenal
Bissouma joining Arsenal from Brighton may force Arteta and Lokonga to consider a loan transfer for the 22-year-old. His start to life with the Gunners last summer showed lots of promise while settling into his new surroundings. But the Belgian’s presence on the field mostly came through Xhaka’s injury.
Once Xhaka and Partey returned to the fore, Lokonga struggled to rediscover his early promise when needed. Arteta may now want to consider sending the one-cap international out on loan to help his acclimatisation to the Premier League, as chances to develop at the Emirates should be even harder.
Mohamed Elneny to become Mikel Arteta’s Europa League workhorse after new contract
Elneny will likely be Arteta’s Europa League workhorse next season after signing a one year contract extension. The Egyptian seldom featured until the Spaniard was without Partey to anchor his engine room this term. But Elneny came in and proved he can be a presence when the key men need a rest.
His professionalism to accept that others are ahead in the pecking order but hit the pitch and make a difference will have delighted Arteta. It also likely earned Elneny his new deal and a chance to stay in north London, despite only playing 147 games altogether since joining from Basel in 2016 for £7.5m.
Charlie Patino may face tougher task forcing his way from U23s to Mikel Arteta’s plans
Charlie Patino may face a tougher task trying to force his way into Arteta’s plans from Arsenal’s U23s if Bissouma joins from Brighton. The 18-year-old made a dream impact on his senior debut in the EFL Cup in December after scoring against Sunderland within 11 minutes of his late cameo introduction.
Arteta later awarded Patino his first senior start in the FA Cup at Nottingham Forest this January, as well. But the teenager only played 69 minutes, before Lewis Grabban secured Steve Cooper’s side a shock win. The cup ties would be his only first-team action, while an unused substitute in six league games.
Ainsley Maitland-Niles returns from Roma loan to secure permanent Arsenal farewell
Bissouma joining Arsenal from Brighton may serve as the final nail in Ainsley Maitland-Niles’s career in north London. Arteta denied the 24-year-old a move to Everton last summer, per the Mirror, but would only go on to field him in 11 games before sanctioning a half-season loan to Roma in January.
Maitland-Niles additionally only started four games, including two in the Premier League, before he headed to Mourinho’s side. And life at the Stadio Olimpico was no picnic, either, as he soon fell out of favour. After starting five of his first six available Serie A games, he played just two of the next 12.
Now, with Arteta looking to strengthen his midfield and Calciomercato claiming Bissouma is destined to join Arsenal from Brighton, Maitland-Niles may perhaps only return to the Emirates while waiting for a club to explore a permanent transfer with the five-cap England ace also out of contract in 2023.