Alasdair Gold has confirmed that Yves Bissouma returned to Tottenham Hotspur from international duty with an injury, which made him a doubt going into the north London derby.
The Mali international finally got his big move to a top-six club over the summer after making his Premier Leauge debut in the 2018/19 season, with Tottenham taking the plunge, splashing out £25m on the midfielder.
However, it hasn’t been the start that he would’ve expected, having started just one game across all competitions thus far, and his misery was further compounded last week when he returned from international duty with a knock that meant he wasn’t fit enough to start against Arsenal on Saturday.
Gold has revealed on his YouTube channel that people at the club have now confirmed this was the reason why Antonio Conte didn’t start Bissouma.
He said: “Bissouma, I understand, was one of those players who came back with some – I think he [Conte] called them ‘physical problems’ in his press conference. I got that confirmed just before the game by a few people in and around the club. So Bissouma’s one that had a little problem and was a doubt for the game.”
TIF Thoughts on Bissouma…
Many will have predicted Bissouma – who was in the top 15 for possession-winning tackles won last season in the Premier League (as per FBref) – to have almost walked into the starting lineup and made Spurs instantly tougher in the midfield. However, Antonio Conte has confirmed that Bissouma has struggled to adapt tactically.
Given that Spurs have won just once in their last three games across all competitions and shipped six goals in that period, it could well be time for a change in formation – something Gold has hinted at – and the introduction of an out-and-out defensive enforcer in Bissouma.