Yves Bissouma’s Tottenham comments show just how close Arsenal may have come to transfer

Arsenal's Premier League Fixtures 2022/23

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Yves Bissouma has revealed it was his dream to play in the Champions League and live in London after Tottenham announced the midfielder’s signature. The Mali international joined Antonio Conte’s side in a £25 million move from Brighton despite strong interest from fierce rivals Arsenal. 

The North London clubs spent the end of last season in a close battle for the top four with the Lilywhites pipping the Gunners to the final spot after Mikel Arteta’s men lost form during the run in. This may have been crucial in the battle to gain Bissouma’s signature given the player’s ambition to play at the highest level of European football. 

“It is my dream to play in the Champions League,” The Malian told the Tottenham Hotspur Youtube channel. “When I was younger I was watching the Champions League everyday and I can’t wait to play in it with Spurs.

“London, Spurs and Champions League music. That is my dream.”

Given his Champions League ambitions and love of his new home city, it is likely that the midfielder would have pushed to join Arsenal ahead of their rivals had they achieved Champions League football. 

Arsenal will turn their attention to other midfield options after missing out on Bissouma. Porto star Fabio Vieira is set to join the club imminently in a £35m deal from Porto. Arteta also remains keen on bringing Leicester man Youri Tielemans to the Emirates with the Belgian international linked with a £25m move in recent days. 

However, former Arsenal legend Paul Merson has encouraged the club to look elsewhere for a new central midfielder. The Sky Sports pundit believes his former side should try to hijack West Ham’s move for James Ward-Prowse and bring the Southampton captain to North London. 

“I don’t understand why Arsenal are not pulling out all the stops to try and take James Ward-Prowse from Southampton,” the Englishman told the Daily Star. “I think he is one of the best passers of the ball in England and Arsenal are crying out for a player who can spray the ball around from the middle of the pitch.” 

“I think he’s massively underrated. He could play for any of the top clubs. He would walk into the Manchester United team. He’d be perfect for them as well.” 

Arsenal fans will be hoping that Bissouma flops while at Tottenham so they are not forced to rue missing out on the midfielder’s signature. In the meantime, the focus will be on hoping the club can attract other midfield talents in order to push for the top four next season. 

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