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'He needs to work': Conte admits Tottenham signing is 'a step behind'
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'He needs to work': Conte admits Tottenham signing is 'a step behind'

Tottenham Hotspur boss Antonio Conte says Yves Bissouma is currently “a step behind” Rodrigo Bentancur and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg.

The Spurs manager said the N17 summer signing “needs to work” so as to “go totally into our idea of football”.

Tottenham signed Bissouma in June from Brighton for a reported £25m fee plus add-ons.

Photo by Rob Newell – CameraSport via Getty Images

The Mali international joined Spurs to much fanfare.

At Brighton, he made a name for himself as one of the Premier League’s most exciting midfield talents.

However, Bissouma has had to bide his time at Tottenham.

He finally made his full Spurs debut in midweek, starting against West Ham after Rodrigo Bentancur’s concussion.

The 25-year-old struggled on the night, Tomas Soucek running off the back of him for the equaliser.

Bissouma also picked up an early yellow card for smashing the ball on the floor in anger at a refereeing decision.

With Bentancur recovering from his concussion, Bissouma may have to wait for another opportunity in the Spurs XI.

And Conte, speaking ahead of Tottenham v Fulham on Saturday, suggested as much.

When asked him what he made of Bissouma’s debut, he replied: “He needs to work, he needs to work.

“He needs to go totally into our idea of football. For sure he is a step behind Bentancur and Hojbjerg, but also the same for Skipp as Skippy worked with me all of last season.

“I’m pleased with what I have seen during the game. We are talking about a player with good skills, strong physically and a good engine.

“At the same time he has a lot of space for improvement and he can improve to become a thinking player because in that position is important to understand what the team needs with the ball, without the ball.

“We are talking about a player that for sure is a good signing for us and he can help us a lot.”

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