Spursy no more? Tottenham's Yves Bissouma transfer is another Conte masterstroke
Tottenham's signing of Yves Bissouma will take them one step closer to shaking off their 'Spursy' tag and becoming part of the Premier League elite under Antonio Conte.
The Mali international arrived from Brighton for a fee rising to £30 million and has been one of the best-performing midfielders in the Premier League since he arrived in 2018 from Lille.
Bissouma joins veteran wing-back Ivan Perisic and backup keeper Fraser Forster as Spurs' major signings in the first summer window under Conte.
With the Italian having joined the club mid-season, he led Tottenham to Champions League qualification and now appears to have had his work rewarded with some impressive signings.
The ambitious manager still wants more players in as he looks to transform Tottenham from perennial bottlers into one of the most feared teams in the league - and Bissouma is a great step in that direction.
Whatever Conte wants, Conte gets
Conte has built a career out of being notoriously difficult to please in the transfer market and he was critical of the board in January despite the arrivals of Rodrigo Bentancur and Dejan Kulusevski.
However, both additions proved to be pivotal in Tottenham's successful surge into the top four and chairman Daniel Levy was keen to work with Managing Director Fabio Paratici to get Conte the players he wanted.
Tottenham also brought in Gretar Steinsson as their Technical Performance Director in a bid to assist Paratici and the move for Bissouma was reflective of the work being put in to transform the club.
Spurs beat the likes of Arsenal, Aston Villa and Monaco to the signing of a player who arrived at a fraction of his previous £40m asking price as he was entering the final year of his contract.
Most tackles made by midfielders in the Premier League since 2019/20:— Squawka (@Squawka) June 17, 2022
◎ Wilfred Ndidi
◉ Pierre-Emile Højbjerg
◎ Declan Rice
◎ João Moutinho
◉ Yves Bissouma
Antonio Conte now has two of the top five. 👥 pic.twitter.com/fRWAbpbNm1
Bissouma's work rate, defensive capabilities and Premier League experience made him a standout target and an ideal partner for whichever midfielder he is paired with.
The 25-year-old was also keen to join Tottenham to play Champions League football and the decision to turn down rivals in order to play for Conte showcases how much he has lifted their reputation already.
Conte's biggest priority remains a left-sided centre back and he has identified Alessandro Bastoni from former club Inter as his primary target, however the Italian side are unwilling to part with their star defender.
But should Spurs get their defender and continue to back Conte, the Italian will certainly reward them with the riches of silverware and, arguably most importantly, a new, elite identity.