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Report: Liverpool look at Bissouma as Wijnaldum replacement

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Brighton midfielder Yves Bissouma has emerged as possible replacement for Gini Wijnaldum with the Dutchman appearing no closer to signing a new contract with the Reds.

 

In a squad that has been ravaged by injury during the early part of this campaign, Wijnaldum has been one of the constant figures in the starting lineup and has continued to perform in his typically understated fashion.

 

Wijnaldum was consistently linked to Barcelona during the Summer transfer window and at different times, it seemed certain he would join the Catalan giants and be reunited with his former boss at national level in Ronald Koeman.

 

But Jurgen Klopp managed to a keep hold of a player that he has a immense amount of trust in, while boosting his midfield by signing the highly rated Thiago from Bayern Munich.

 

The 30 year-old has been non-committal whenever he has been asked about his future, but his manager has often praised his professionalism in getting on with the job at hand without any fuss.

 

The longer that things stay as they are, there is a sense that Wijnaldum will be heading off come next summer.

 

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Liverpool have proven countless times  over the past few years that their planning for various eventualities is second to none and that is why the name of Mali midfielder has come to light.

 

The 24 year-old is in his third year at the Seagulls having been signed by Chris Hughton.

 

The Mail reports that Bissouma appears to be a natural replacement for Wijnaldum as he also has a similar deal of unselfishness to his game where he allows more creative players space and opportunities to score. 

 

His discipline is perhaps a area that he can look to rectify after collecting three yellow and one red card (vs Newcastle) on the season so far, but his work rate is clear to see averaging 3.2 tackles and 1.9 clearances per game with a pass success rate of 85%.

 

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Arsenal have also been linked to Bissouma who has been capped 16 times for Mali and with the contract of the former Lille man running to the end of 2023, a considerable transfer fee could be required.

 

A quite interesting insight into Bissouma’s progress came via the We are Brighton website who documented his evolution under Graham Potter.

 

“From the moment that Yves Bissouma signed for Brighton, it has been very clear just what a talent he is. What let him down during his first 18 months at the Albion was a lack of discipline, defensive naivety and the fact nobody seemed to know where he should be played.

 

“Under Chris Hughton, Bissouma did not have the positional or tactical discipline needed to usurp Dale Stephens as a holding midfielder. He was not a team player like Davy Propper. And he did not bring goals or assists to the party like Pascal Gross.

 

“Bissouma’s inconsistency continued in the first half of the 2019-20 season under Graham Potter. It took him until December to register his first good performance, when replacing the suspended Dale Stephens away at Crystal Palace.

 

“At the time, Bissouma in the holding role in a must-not-lose game against Palace looked like a huge gamble. His performance that evening however was one of the best that the Malian had given in an Albion shirt.

 

“It was something of a watershed moment. Suddenly, Bissouma had shown Potter he matured enough to play as a defensive midfielder.”

 

Meanwhile Potter has been clearly pleased with the improvement in his game.

 

“He wins a lot of balls back and physically he is in a good place. He will get better the more he plays and he showed a discipline and quality. I’m really pleased.”

 

“He makes good decisions and he has the power, athleticism and technical qualities to deal with the ball. It’s then just the tactical understanding which I think he has developed.”

 

The general consensus coming from close observers of the South Coast club is that is that he is one exciting package if he puts it all together on a consistent basis.

 

As we have seen many times, if there is a manager to get the best out of a player it is Jurgen Klopp.

 

So perhaps it will be worth a glance at Brighton’s highlights every now and then to see how Bissouma is progressing and whether he is a worthwhile option.

 

 


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Saw a report from Pearce that Liverpool are resigned to Gini leaving at the end of the season. Seems he wants a new challenge and a big signing on fee a free agent gets him.

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Don't fancy yet another player that will fuck off for a mid season International tournament every couple of years 

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I like the player, unsure about the value we could get. He wouldn't do Gini's job, but could provide a good foundation that lets Jones play a more attacking role in the longer term.

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Aouar doesn't have the physical profile to replace Wijnaldum. He'd replace Keita or Chamberlain in the squad if one of those went. If there's a midfielder in Ligue 1 who could be a direct replacement, it's Renato Sanches, who is having a career revival at Lille.

 

The Bissouma thing makes sense  because we normally buy from the Premier League, but it feels like a fake link. Gini to him is a heck of a leap.

 

 

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I liked this kid a lot when we played Brighton. Seems to be perfectly suited to this league.

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