With the Arsenal squad set to be overhauled in this summer’s transfer window, Brighton & Hove Albion midfielder Yves Bissouma is being heavily linked with a switch to the Emirates Stadium.
football.london understands that the Gunners will be actively recruiting players for as many as five positions in the upcoming transfer window, with Bissouma, as well as Sheffield United midfielder Sander Berge, thought to be on the club’s radar.
The Brighton midfielder has been an impressive performer for Graham Potter’s side since joining the Seagulls from Lille in 2018, making 95 appearances for the club in all competitions, with his strong performances leading to links with both Arsenal and Liverpool.
So, what if Arsenal did sign Bissouma in the 2021 summer transfer window? And, what kind of impact could he have at the club next season?
To have a bit of fun and try to predict the future, we used Football Manager 2021 to see what could happen with Bissouma at Arsenal next season.
We ‘signed’ Yves Bissouma for Arsenal in the summer of 2021
To set up this simulation, we used the Football Manager 2021 editor to arrange for Brighton midfielder Yves Bissouma to join Arsenal in the summer 2021 transfer window, using FM21 to run our simulation.
The Football Manager database currently contains data on more than 800,000 individuals and 45,000 active clubs, with data sourced from their international on the ground scouting network which numbers roughly 1,000 people, among their ranks are some who are involved in football in professional capacities, including scouts and coaches.
In addition, each annual iteration of Football Manager has built-in algorithms which check for outliers and data discrepancies. Data accuracy is further ensured by input from contributors who are active within the professional game (players, agents, etc.) who provide regular feedback.
We then simulated the entire 2021/22 season on the game, to see what kind of impact the midfielder could have at the Emirates Stadium, from the summer transfer window onwards.
Before we go into the simulation, in addition to the manual signing of Bissouma, Arsenal spent a total of £96 million on eight players in the 2021/22 campaign.
In came Bissouma, Nikola Vlasic (CSKA Moscow), Marcos Alonso (Chelsea), Ruben Garcia (Osasuna – January 2022), Santiago Caseres (Villarreal – January 2022), Felipe Caicedo (Lazio), Claudio Ramos (Porto) and Stefan Radu (Free).
Arsenal also sold £43 million worth of players, with Lucas Torreira (Lyon), Mohamed Elneny (Brighton), Cedric (OGC Nice), Konstantinos Mavropanos (PSV), Willian (Eintracht Frankfurt), Pablo Mari (loan), Gabriel Martinelli (loan) and Eddie Nketiah (loan) all leaving permanently or on loan.
Here’s what happened!
Yves Bissouma‘s 2021/22 season for Arsenal
Bissouma quickly became a key player for Arsenal under Mikel Arteta, with the Mali international forming a tremendous partnership with Thomas Partey in the centre of midfield.
The Brighton midfielder made 38 appearances in all competitions for the Gunners, including 31 Premier League starts.
Bissouma was fantastic both in and out of possession and was much better in attacking output than many would expect.
The 24-year-old scored nine goals and registered 12 assists in 31 Premier League appearances for Arsenal in 2021/22, which is a much higher we’ve seen from the midfielder at his previous clubs.
With Bissouma and other new signings, Arteta was able to vastly improve the club’s key metrics, with the Gunners goals conceded and goals scored totals being much more competitive than in 2020/21.
Arsenal only conceded 38 goals in 38 games and scored an impressive 75 goals in 38 games.
To put these stats into context, in the 2020/21 season, Arsenal conceded 39 goals and scored just 55.
A marginal defensive improvement followed by a 20 goal increase in goals scored.
Football Manager 2021 calculates every team’s best performing 11 at the end of every season, using a variety of key metrics.
Arsenal’s best team at the end of the 2021/22 season was as follows; Leno; Bellerin, Saliba, Gabriel, Tierney; Bissouma, Partey; Pepe, Vlasic, Saka; Aubameyang.
New signings Bissouma and Vlasic featured in Arteta’s best performing eleven, with the other new signings playing a big role in Arsenal’s season.
So, how did Arsenal perform in all competitions in our simulated season with Bissouma and others in the team?
Arteta managed to secure another major trophy for Arsenal in 2021/22, beating Aston Villa in the Carabao Cup final in February 2022.
Two goals from new signing Caicedo and one from Saka sealed the win.
So, what about the Premier League?
Here is how the final 2021/22 PL table looked in our simulation.
After an impressive league campaign, Arsenal returned to the top four of the Premier League, finishing in third place.
Arsenal won 76 points in 38 games, finishing ahead of Manchester United, Chelsea and Tottenham, with Liverpool winning the league ahead of Manchester City.
Overall, Football Manager predicts that with Bissouma and a few other high-quality players added to the squad, Mikel Arteta could lead Arsenal to a major trophy and a place in the Premier League top four next season, with Bissouma a key figure in the side.
Would you be happy with this next season? And, would you be happy to see Arsenal sign Yves Bissouma this summer?
Football Manager (FM) is the world’s leading football management simulation title. The latest edition of the game, FM21, is out now on PC, Mac, Mobile, Touch and Xbox.
The Football Manager database currently contains data on more than 800,000 individuals and 45,000 active clubs, with data sourced from their international on the ground scouting network which numbers roughly 1,000 people.
Among their ranks are some who are involved in football in professional capacities, including scouts and coaches.
Source by Football London