Yves Bissouma wants Champions League football

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Brighton and Hove Albion’s Yves Bissouma has admitted he dreams of playing in the Champions League and winning titles.

The 25-year-old Mali international arrived to Europe from his home country in March 2016, initially joining LOSC Lille’s ‘B’ side, but he was promoted to the first team in the summer of the same year. In 2018, he moved to Brighton for a reported fee of €17 million, and since then, he has made a total of 101 appearances in all competitions for the Seagulls, scoring four goals from his role of a defensive midfielder.

Bissouma was linked with the likes of Arsenal and Liverpool this summer, at a time when it became clear Georginio Wijnaldum would be leaving the Merseyside and Granit Xhaka’s move from the Emirates to AS Roma appeared likely. However, neither move materialized and he ended up staying put.

More recently, reports have appeared claiming Manchester United were contemplating Bissouma as an alternative to Declan Rice, should West Ham remain firm in their huge valuation of the England international.

“I didn’t go this summer, maybe it’s because it’s not my time to go,” Bissouma told Brighton’s official website.

“When my time will come, it’s my time, but I’m happy in Brighton, I’m enjoying playing football.

“My dream is like every player, I want to play in the Champions League, I want to be champions. I want to compare myself on the top level, not just with other players.”

Unless he recommits to Brighton by the end of the season, Bissouma will enter the final year of his contract next summer, and there should be plenty of interest in his services when that comes.