I have become a man at Brighton, says Bissouma

The 24-year-old Albion midfielder has hailed his relationship with head coach Graham Potter.

By Charlie Hanson • 05 September 2020

By Paul Hazlewood
Yves Bissouma believes Graham Potter and the senior players have helped him mature as a player and a person.

Yves Bissouma says his good working relationship with head coach Graham Potter has been key to his improved performances.

The central midfielder has enjoyed working with the former Swansea City boss, who has helped him understand the game better.

Bissouma said, “I work well with him and he understands me as a player. I told him that I am here for the team, because I love the team. You can play me anywhere, I will do it, I want to help.

By Paul Hazlewood
Potter has helped Bissouma understand his position a lot better.

“He gives me the confidence to play how I do. He has improved me tactically a lot – he will say to me ‘Biss don’t go here, don’t go there, stay in your position’. He helped me understand the game better and that understanding in the Premier League is so important.”

The presence of experienced players in the Albion dressing room has also played a big part in the Mali international’s development.

“Having the time to have settled in Brighton has helped me a lot on the pitch,” he added.

“When I left Mali for France I was 18. When I came over my first year was horrible! It was too hard. In Mali it’s never cold, it’s just hot. But in France it’s either too cold or too hot.

“I didn’t have my family with me, it was a really difficult time in my life that first year. But I got to know people, I settled. I stayed focused on football because I love it, it’s my life.

“It was a big move for me from France to England. In France I was young, immature. I have become a man here. In France the team I played with was very young.

By Paul Hazlewood
Players like Lewis Dunk have helped Bissouma settle in England.

“Here it’s not the same. When I first joined we had Lewis Dunk, who has a lot of experience, Gaetan Bong, Glenn Murray, Dale Stephens and Davy Propper – they helped me because they’re mature. I look at what they do and I try and do the same. They helped me with a lot of things, not just football, but for life.”

The midfielder wants to add more goals to his tally in a Seagulls shirt, but says that as long as Albion win he doesn’t mind whether or not he’s on the scoresheet ahead of this afternoon's game with West Brom at the Amex. 

“If I can score more goals for the team I would love to. But the thing that’s important is the team improves, that we win more games this coming season,” he added.

“I want to help us do that, to improve on last season. I want us to win every game. If I score more and we win then great, but getting the win is the most important thing.”