Date of Birth: 30.08.1996 (20 years old)
Position: Central Midfielder
Value: 800.000 €
Contract Until: 30.06.2021
Height: 1.82 m
Yves Bissouma, who was born in Ivory Coast despite of having Malian nationality, joined Real Bamako, one of the best teams in Mali, in 2014 after his youth academy experience in Jean-Marc Guillou Academy. He caught the eye of French club Lille with his impressive performance at Real Bamako and have been transferred to French team in March 2016, signing a 3 year deal. He started to train with senior squad before 2016/17 season and finished that season with 23 league appearances in total, scoring one goal. In 5 of these matches he was in the starting line-up. Besides these matches, he also started in 3 Coupe de France games and subtstituted on in a Europa League match against FK Qabala. He met the expectations with his performance in this season and extended his contract until 2021 in March 2017 with the former French champion.
The 20-year-old midfielder, who got the attention very early in his country and made his debut with national team on October 18, 2015, has 3 goals in 10 matches by now with Mali. Recently he was included in the Mali squad for African Cup of Nations and he was one of the most exciting young players. We may foresee that his place in the midfield of Mali national team will bu guaranteed in the upcoming years.
Sometimes he started in right wing position, but generally formed the midfield duo where he plays naturally in the Lille team that uses mostly 4-3-3 and 4-2-3-1 formations. In the matches that he was substituted on, he was used again in the midfield duo of these formations but he is capable of playing any role in midfield three.
Strengths (Pace, Dribbling, Long shots, Vision, Energy, Tackling)
Yves Bissouma is more shining out with his attack-minded attitude for now and one of the reasons for that is that he is much more pacy and agile for an orthodox midfield player. He can rotate and change his direction very quickly thanks to his athleticism and can be seen as a favorable midfield player for higher tempo play with his skills of going to the opponent goal very quickly -on and off the ball- by shifting up. He tries to dribble very often as a player who loves to go direct with ball and succeeds in those attempts by combining his athletic skills with his technique. He has a success rate of 59% in 9 dribble attempts per game. He can create his own chance for a long distance shot as a player who can dribble past opponents very easily and should be seen as a threat in long shots as well, as his goal against Angers tells us. As he can also shoot to a standing ball, he continues his long shot threat in free-kicks and has a high potential to score from long distance free-kicks. Moreover he is a player that coaches trust in that kind of situations. In the match against Rennes in the second half of the season, Lille coach Passi chose Bissouma to take the free-kick at that moment after his disagreement with El Ghazi about the free-kick taker.
As getting not enough first-team chance for now, he is not able to show his potential to dominate the game but as soon as he gets sufficient time, he will show his dominant play and make feel that he is an exceptional player, especially with the ball. He loves to go directly with the ball but he doesn’t do that without looking for his team-mates, he looks for his unmarked team-mates with the effort of playing the ball correct and he can pass long and accurate balls to other flank. He tries 2.5 key passes per game and that makes him one of the top 5 players in the attempts of key passes. Generally he plays with more of a passer and distributer play-maker midfielder but he can also manage to be in the role of play-maker. For example in the recent Coupe de France match against Bergerac, he was the play-maker of his team and successful 77 times in his 88 passes in 95 minutes.
Despite the fact that we said he is more attack-minded, his defensive efforts are much more than enough and we may entitle him as a “box to box” midfielder because of his activity in either of the boxes. His technique doesn’t make him a soft player in challenges and especially in the games he has been substituted on he brings dynamism and energy to his team. He has a tendency of challenging very often and is not afraid to challenge even with stronger opponents. His statistics of challenging 26 times per match and winning 55% of them also confirms his defensive contribution. His quickness brings him success in tackling attempts.
Weaknesses (Discipline, Decisions)
Bissouma is an emotional player and can get affected very easily on the pitch. Therefore we often witness his aggresive and rule-breaking behaviors. He was booked 4 times with a yellow card and 1 time with a red in the 748 minutes he has been on the field this season in Ligue 1. There were also situations where he should have been booked but was lucky enough to not.
He has confidence in himself and when he can not show himself as he would like to, this attribute combines with his emotional character and then he is lost on the pitch. As long as he can not make the first touch he wanted to make or can not do the pass he wanted to do, his decision-making is badly affected and number of his false preferences rises. As a player who likes to “bomb” the opponent goal, he has an idea of shooting the ball as soon as seeing the goal and in times when he loses his concentration he becomes more and more selfish to prove himself and forgets that football is a team sport.
Similar Players: Moussa Sissoko, Tiemoue Bakayoko, Badou Ndiaye.
Although his physical features are not at that level, 20-year-old Yves Bissouma shows similarities with Moussa Sissoko with his more offensive-minded “box-to-box” style, pace and dribbling. Likewise as he dribbles past opponent easily and has a tendency to tackle the ball, he reminds of Tiemoue Bakayoko, who he also physically resembles. He differs from Badou Ndiaye as he doesn’t enter penalty area as much as him and takes his chance more from distance but they are similar in terms of pace, work-rate, quickness and dribbling ability.