Mikel Arteta is a big fan of Brighton midfielder Yves Bissouma, and Arsenal are keeping tabs on the player, according to a report.

Brighton's Ivorian midfielder Yves Bissouma (C) comes under pressure from Liverpool's Japanese midfielder Takumi Minamino (L) and Liverpool's Portuguese striker Diogo Jota during the English Premier League football match between Brighton and Hove Albion and Liverpool at the American Express Community Stadium in Brighton, southern England on November 28, 2020. (Photo by MIKE HEWITT/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Brighton midfielder Yves Bissouma (C) under pressure from Liverpool’s Takumi Minamino (L) and Diogo Jota on November 28, 2020. (Photo by MIKE HEWITT/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

As we approach the January transfer window, the list of players linked to Arsenal is inevitably growing. The latest is Yves Bissouma, with talkSPORT’s Alex Crook claiming Mikel Arteta likes the Brighton midfielder.

“Yves Bissouma is another player I know Arteta is a big fan of,” Alex Crook said on talkSPORT. “Arsenal [are] by no means the only big-six club keeping tabs on him, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp, I’m told, is also monitoring that situation.

“Bissouma himself is contracted until 2023 at Brighton, so next summer would usually be the time when they would start negotiating a potential new deal.

“This is going to be a real test, the interest in Bissouma, for the (Brighton) owner Tony Bloom and for the chief executive Paul Barber.”

Bissouma is more of a defensive midfielder, so you’d imagine Arsenal aren’t particularly pushing for a January move. If they need to bring a midfielder in during the winter window, it’ll be someone with more creativity and attacking threat.

But arguably the club need a complete midfield overhaul. Thomas Partey is the only senior midfielder really guaranteed to stay beyond 2021.

Mesut Özil is effectively gone already, Dani Ceballos is only on loan, and Mohamed Elneny will enter the final year of his deal next summer. Granit Xhaka is under contract until 2023, but there’s a strong possibility his playing opportunities lessen with Partey fit.

We saw against Rapid Vienna on Thursday that Mikel Arteta is willing to try a defensive midfielder with two attacking midfielders ahead of him. In that particular case, it was Elneny behind Maitland-Niles and Lacazette.

Perhaps a longer-term plan could be to use Bissouma deep with Partey ahead and another signing alongside him.

Partey is capable of playing the deeper role himself, but with Ghana, he’s shown he’s more than capable of playing box-to-box too. It’s not impossible Bissouma could join him in a new-look midfield.