Yves Bissouma can grow as part of an Albion team getting "better and better".

But that will not stop talk of a big move this summer.

Bissouma was reported last Sunday to have asked the Seagulls’ top men to be allowed to leave if a big offer came in from a big club.

The Argus confirmed that report to be untrue.

Equally, Albion will not stand in his way anyway should the right offer for them and for the player himself crop up.

A video interview with Bissouma appeared on the club website yesterday, prompting one or two questions as to whether it was a goodbye.

The interview was actually recorded by the Premier League’s own broadcasting department about three weeks ago for potential use overseas.

In it, Bissouma referred to head coach Graham Potter as a father figure.

Similarly, father-of-three Potter has spoken about playing your first games in the Premier League as being like a kid trying to ride a bike – with the possibility of falling off more than once early on.

He actually said that in reference to Adam Webster.

But it is easy to imagine the boss probably felt like holding the back of the saddle like a worried dad at times when Bissouma wobbled a bit early on.

The Mali international is looking very secure now.

So is this time to move on? Or can he continue to develop with Albion in what would be a second season with the midfield reins?

How could Bissouma continue to grow and develop if he remained with the Seagulls next season?

That was the question put to Potter in the run-up to the game against West Ham.

The head coach told The Argus: “He’s part of the team, part of a group that can get better and better.

“In every aspect of his game he’s taking some big steps and we are really excited with him.

“It took us a bit of time just to find the role for him in the team, how he can help the team, to bring into his best qualities but there is still more to come from him.

“That’s the exciting thing.

“But clearly at the same time he has helped us such a lot.

“How he wins the ball, how he can get out of tight situations. Really, really impressive.

“Tactically he has got a lot better. I just see him only improving. It’s quite exciting.”

Bissouma has made huge steps out of his comfort zone in recent years – away from his family to join a residential football academy in Mali, to chilly northern France and then to England.

A step to a different club in the same league and the same country need not faze him. But it would be like leaving the family again.

Potter said: “I’ve got a fantastic relationship with Yves. I love him to bits.

“He has been a joy to work with and is a joy to work with.

“Throughout our time we always speak about just thinking about the things that we can control.


“You can’t control what people write in newspapers or people say on radio stations or on TV programmes. You just can’t control that.

“All he can control is his performances, how he conducts himself, how he works.



“That’s what he has been doing over the last 18 months or two years since we have been working together and it has taken him to this place now.

“I think he is wise enough to know this is the path he needs to stay on. And then let everybody speak.”