Arsenal in a three-way battle to sign midfield enforcer: Is he what the Gunners need?

Arsenal are reportedly set to be at the heart of a three-way battle with Liverpool and Manchester United over the signing of Brighton and Hove Albion midfielder Yves Bissouma.

Yves Bissouma, 25, joined Brighton from Ligue 1 club Lille in the summer of 2018, and after a slow start to life in English football, he has become one of the club’s most important players.

The Malian international has consistently impressed over the last couple of years in the Premier League, improving his game leaps and bounds under the tutelage of Graham Potter.

The 25-year-old midfielder has quickly gone onto make 89 Premier League appearances for the Seagulls so far, scoring two goals and registering an assist. Bissouma has kicked off the new top-flight season with three solid performances in the Graham Potter-managed side’s engine room.

According to the Metro (h/t The Daily Mirror), Arsenal will look to sign Bissouma when the transfer window reopens in January. However, they’ll face competition from Liverpool and Manchester United for the midfielder, who has two years remaining on his deal at the AMEX Stadium with Brighton keen for their star performer to stay.

Meanwhile, the Gunners have started the new Premier League campaign with three defeats. There’s tension boiling around the future of Mikel Arteta, who invested heavily to bolster his squad during the recently-concluded summer transfer window.

Six new faces have arrived, including Takehiro Tomiyasu from Bologna on the deadline day. Yet remain question marks remain over whether the summer signings can actually transform Mikel Arteta’s starting XI.

Yves Bissouma to Arsenal – Is he what the Gunners need?

After just three games into the new season, Arsenal find themselves in a crisis. Their lapses both in defence and midfield have cost them dearly so far. The north London giants have lacked a quality midfield enforcer in their ranks.

Thomas Partey has struggled with injuries since arriving from Atletico Madrid in October 2020, playing just 24 league games in his debut campaign. He remains sidelined with ankle ligament problems, while Mohamed Elneny is not good enough to start for the London club week in, week out.

Arsenal signed highly-rated Albert Sambi Lokonga from Belgian club Anderlecht in the summer, but at 21 he’s deemed as one for the future rather than a regular starter in Arteta’s side. Granit Xhaka again demonstrated his lack of temperament and poise after his two-footed, rash challenge on Joao Cancelo earned him a straight red card in Arsenal’s 5-0 destruction at Manchester City last weekend.

In this case, it’s clear to see why the north London club are interested in signing Yves Bissouma from Brighton.

Bissouma has been one of Brighton’s best players in the last two seasons and deserves the limelight he’s getting. The Malian international continues to grow in stature and having played close to 90 top-flight games in England means he is not short of experience either.

With his good passing range, endless energy to cover a lot of ground and excellent defensive qualities, Bissouma would be a great addition to an Arsenal midfield that lacks the quality to rub shoulders with the Premier League’s best teams.

The Malian’s versatility to play as a lone holding midfielder, in a double-pivot or three-man midfield would give Arteta some much-needed variety to choose from.

Given Liverpool and Manchester United are also interested in the player, it will be very difficult for Arsenal to sign the Brighton enforcer. Yet, they must go all out to bring Bissouma to the Emirates Stadium in January as he could go a long way in solving their midfield’s conundrum.

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