Arsenal were given an insight into their next potential midfield signing on Saturday afternoon as Brighton came out 3-0 winners against Wolves. This fixture resulted in Yves Bissouma and Ruben Neves battling each other in the midfield.
It is not just the pitch where they are also battling, as both players have also been heavily linked with a move to Arsenal in the summer transfer window. Mikel Arteta needs to strengthen the midfield due to a lack of quality and depth, with Bissouma and Neves both being suitable solutions.
However, judging by the Premier League fixture between Wolves and Brighton, Bissouma would be the preferable signing as he was excellent against Neves. He also topped off his superb display with a well-taken goal in the second half.
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There has been a £100m price tag quoted by Wolves manager Bruno Lage for Neves, but this has been questioned by news sources, as Sky Sports had recently reported that Wolves had put a £50m-£60m price tag on Neves for the summer transfer window. The report had also claimed that the Gunners are still interested in pursuing a deal.
Arsenal could be left short in midfield this summer, as football.london understands that Roma are expected to make a fresh attempt to sign Granit Xhaka at the end of the season.
This will mean that Thomas Partey would be the only experienced midfielder in the team. Mohamed Elneny’s contract is set to expire at the end of the season, and Albert Sambi Lokonga and Charlie Patino are still yet to register a full Premier League season under their belt.
Despite the clear availability for Neves, who would certainly be a solution to Arsenal’s midfield problems, Bissouma would be a cheaper alternative with CIES Football Observatory quoting him at £12.5m. The midfielder’s current contract ends at the end of the next season, meaning the Seagulls will need to sell him in the summer or tie him to a new deal to prevent losing him on a free transfer.
The Gunners had also previously been linked to Bissouma, as according to The Telegraph, Aston Villa are set to battle it out with Arsenal to sign the midfielder in the summer transfer window. A deal becomes even more difficult if Manchester United enter into the race to sign him.
Bissouma has the quality and the confidence to match, as speaking to the BBC last year, he previously claimed that he is the best midfielder in the league. “I don’t want to be arrogant but that’s my mind. I think for me, it’s me because, in my head, I’m working to be the best,” Bissouma said.
“I know the Premier League has many good midfielders, but for me, it’s me because that gives me confidence and energy to work hard to show people that ‘I’m here, I’m Bissouma’.”
The battle between Neves and Bissouma could have certainly shaped the direction of Edu’s next midfield transfer. Bissouma came out the winner in this battle, and his cheaper price tag could be another reason the Gunners opt for the Brighton midfielder.