Looking back to his time before joining Tottenham Hotspur, Yves Bissouma has recalled the time that Marcelo Bielsa tried, rather unsuccessfully, to turn him into a right-back at LOSC Lille.

Now, Yves Bissouma is one of the best midfielders in the Tottenham squad, and perhaps even the Premier League, on his day.

The Malian had a real breakthrough during his time with Brighton and Hove Albion, before making the move to Spurs last summer.

He didn’t have it easy in his first season in North London, with injury issues hampering his progress and Antonio Conte‘s system not quite suiting Bissouma’s talents.

That’s all behind him now, with Bissouma flourishing under his new coach, Ange Postecoglou. Indeed, the 27-year-old is now a key figure in the side and has been mightily impressive this season from the middle of the park.

BURNLEY, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 2: Tottenham Hotspur’s Yves Bissouma during the Premier League match between Burnley FC and Tottenham Hotspur at Turf Moor on September 2, 2023 in Burnley, England. (Photo by Rich Linley – CameraSport via Getty Images)

Bielsa tried to change Yves Bissouma

There is a chance we may never have seen Bissouma dominating the midfield for Spurs, however, at least if it was up to Marcelo Bielsa. Speaking to SpursPlay, Bissouma explained how his former manager tried to change his game entirely.

He said: “Marcelo arrived and I was having a nice time at first. Then I had a minor injury but I came back two weeks after, and after those two weeks there were certain things. Then I was told to play right-back, I just wanted to play so I accepted.

“I played well in the first match, I did really well in two, three matches. The season kept going, and I kept playing at right back, which I didn’t understand. I asked him why, and he said it was just to help out there, the right back, Kevin Malcuit, was injured so I said it was okay, I wanted to help the team.

“So I tried to help out, then Kevin recovered but I carried on there, he told me I performed well there, I could have a great career there and so on. I didn’t agree, I thought it would never work.”

Spurs Web Opinion

I’ve no doubt Bissouma is the kind of player who could perform wherever you ask him to play, but he would be wasted at right back. His ability to turn defence into attack and drive forward with the ball make him perfect for that central role.

Have something to tell us about this article?

Keep up to date with all the latest Tottenham news and opinion by following SpursWeb’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts.