Prior to Spurs’ Premier League match at home against the Saints, the former Brighton & Hove Albion player is in a race against time. Yves Bissouma, a midfielder from Mali, is questionable for Saturday’s Premier League opener between Tottenham Hotspur and Southampton. After consulting Covid-19, Bissouma missed a significant portion of Tottenham’s preseason trip of South Korea. He then suffered a hamstring injury upon his return, and he is now in a race against time to make the squad for Saturday’s game. Although the former Brighton & Hove Albion player has a chance to play, Tottenham coach Antonio Conte says he won’t risk him for the match at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
“About Bissouma, we have another day to check his physical condition, nothing serious, but I don’t want to take any risks. Tomorrow [Friday], we have another training session to make an evaluation about him,” said Conte, as quoted by the club’s website on Thursday. Bissouma played his first match for Spurs in a 2-1 victory over Rangers before featuring in last Saturday’s 1-0 loss to AS Roma. The Malian slotted in alongside Pierre Emile Hojbjerg in Conte’s favoured 3-4-3 system, giving fans a glimpse of how the Italian coach intends to play him. Bissouma, who will also have to contend with competition from Oliver Skipp and Rodrigo Bentancur, already seems to be enjoying life under Conte. “I’m very happy to be with him [Conte] at this club because he’s living football and I like that, I like a coach like him,” the 25-year-old said. “I know he can push the team higher and the players as well. That’s why we’re trying to do what he wants. Every training is not easy, but we’re working for that, and I like him because he’s crazy like me.” “Good crazy because he’s crazy about football, and I like how he works, I like how he teaches everyone, and I like his work.” Tottenham beat a host of Premier League rivals to Bissouma’s signature when he signed from Brighton for £30 million after three years at the Amex Stadium. The six-foot-tall defensive midfielder is a towering presence who is good at reading the game and adept at progressing the ball through long and short passes while also shielding the defence, qualities Spurs had been lacking.