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“A step behind”: Conte gives verdict of new summer signing’s struggles

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Antonio Conte claims Yves Bissouma is a step behind his Tottenham Hotspur teammates

Tottenham Hotspur manager Antonio Conte has said that Yves Bissouma is a step behind the rest of his teammates. The Mali international struggled against West Ham United in the previous fixture.

Bissouma started his first game for Spurs against the Hammers. However, it was not the best of performances from the 26-year-old. Our London rivals managed to get a draw in the end.

Speaking ahead of the game against Fulham via football.london, Conte admitted Bissouma needed to put in extra work. The Italian feels the 26-year-old needs more time to adapt and perform at his best.

Antonio Conte claims Yves Bissouma is a step behind his Tottenham Hotspur teammates.
Antonio Conte believes Yves Bissouma needs more time to adapt at Tottenham Hotspur.

“He needs to work, go totally into the idea of football.

“He’s a step behind Bentancur and Hojbjerg. The same for [Oliver] Skipp working with me all of last season. I’m pleased with what I’ve seen during the game and we’re talking about a player with good skills and who is strong physically with a good engine.”

Bissouma was one of the several signings Tottenham made in the transfer window. The Mali international came to Spurs having already built up his pedigree with Brighton & Hove Albion.

Having joined the Seagulls in the summer of 2018 from LOSC Lille, the 26-year-old impressed in his three seasons in the Premier League. And Spurs bring the midfielder to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Bissouma has come on as a substitute for Conte in the final minutes of each PL game before starting against West Ham. We dominated the first half and went into the break with a one-goal lead.

Antonio Conte claims Yves Bissouma is a step behind his Tottenham Hotspur teammates.
Yves Bissouma has to challenge Rodrigo Bentacur and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg for a place in the XI at Tottenham. (Photo by Paul Harding/Getty Images)

The second half was a different story as West Ham played better. The Hammers scored against us in the 55th minute, with Thomas Soucek putting the ball past Hugo Lloris. Bissouma was caught ball-watching as the Czech midfielder ran past him.

Since Rodrigo Bentancur’s arrival in January, the Uruguayan has been a regular in the XI alongside Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg. The two have been Conte’s preferred duo.

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It is a challenging task for a new signing like Bissouma to break the duopoly in the middle of the park. It remains to be seen whether the former Brighton man steps up to the task.

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