Graham Potter makes Yves Bissouma exit claim ahead of summer transfer window
Graham Potter believes Yves Bissouma has the talent to play for any club in world football and insists Brighton should not fear interest in their star midfielder.
Mali international Bissouma has been linked with a host of top sides, including Premier League rivals Manchester United, Liverpool and Arsenal, following a string of standout displays for Albion.
According to reports, Seagulls owner Tony Bloom would require an offer of more than £40million to consider selling the 24-year-old.
Head coach Potter says former Lille player Bissouma is happy at the Amex Stadium and regards potential transfer bids as a source of pride, rather than a concern.
“The exciting thing for Yves is he can still improve some more, he’s not at the top,” said Potter, whose side travel to relegated Sheffield United on Saturday.
“But he’s got incredible potential, he’s got incredible talent, he’s got the attributes to play midfield in any game in the world.
“Like any player, we have to be honest and also sensible enough to know that if a player is good enough to play at that level and has that opportunity then we shouldn’t be afraid of that, we shouldn’t be scared of that.
“Clearly there is a consequence for that in terms of transfer fees etcetera but that’s something out of our control and my control but it’s nothing for us to feel negative of, it should be a feeling of pride.
“At the same time, Yves is happy, enjoying his football, enjoys his life. He knows he’s in an environment here that people care for him, that look after him, that want the best for him, so he’s in a really, really good position.
“You just have to trust in the process and keep helping him enjoying his football and who knows what happens?”
Bissouma, whose contract expires in 2023, arrived in Sussex in the summer of 2018 for a reported £15million fee.
He has become increasingly influential this term – missing just two of 32 top-flight fixtures – and once again caught the eye in the midweek goalless draw at Chelsea.
Potter is committed to helping the player make further progress.
“He has taken a step this season, he has always had these incredibly high, top end actions that are at times breathtaking,” said the manager.
“But it’s about understanding his game and his role, and how he can help the team. It’s about learning to be a Premier League footballer every day and moment of your life and that’s what he’s trying to do.
“He’s not perfect, he’s not the finished article, he’s still got things to improve and that’s really exciting for me as a coach and it should be exciting for him as well. Our job is to keep helping him carrying on developing.”