Brighton midfielder Yves Bissouma has explained why he did not leave the Seagulls this summer and has admitted it is his “dream” to play in the Champions League.
The 25-year-old has been in superb form under Graham Potter this season after enjoying a terrific 2020/21 campaign.
Brighton currently sit fourth in the Premier League after five games, most recently beating Leicester City 2-1 on Sunday afternoon.
The Mali international was linked with numerous top flight clubs in the summer transfer window but decided to stay at the south coast club.
Bissouma has said the timing was not right to leave Brighton, despite interest from the likes of Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United.
“I didn’t go this summer, maybe its because it’s not my time to go,” he said.
“When my time will come, it’s my time, but I’m happy in Brighton, I’m enjoying playing football.
“My dream is like every player, I want to play in the Champions League, I want to be champions. I want to compare myself on the top level, not just with other players.”
The midfielder has two years left on his current contract at the Amex Stadium, but Potter is calm about Bissouma’s future.
“It feels like they’ve been asked for the last few months, so we’re used to it,” the former Swansea City boss said.
“But it’s good, if you’re getting that talk then he’s doing something well, we’re doing something well.
“He’s enjoying his football. You can’t control what people say from the outside, it’s talk, but he’s happy with us and we will keep working with him.”
Speaking to former team-mate Glenn Murray for BBC Football Focus, he was asked who he thought was the best central midfielder in the league.
He replied: “I don’t want to be arrogant, but it’s me because in my head I am working to be the best.
“So I cannot say another name, I know in the Premier League there are so many good midfielders, but for me, it’s me because that gives me the confidence and the energy to work hard to show people I am here and I am Bissouma.
“I just want to be focused on football, to play in every game, every week to be good, to help my team win and the rest we will see.”