Brighton & Hove Albion have signed Malian midfielder Yves Bissouma on a five-year deal from Ligue 1 side Lille for an undisclosed fee.
The 21-year-old becomes the Seagulls’ sixth summer recruit, as the club have already signed goalkeepers Jason Steele and David Button, defenders Bernardo and Leon Balogun and striker Florin Andone.
"It’s the dream of every player to play in the Premier League"
In an interview with Brighton’s official website, Bissouma said he wants to show what he can do in the Premier League and help the team move forward.
"I chatted with quite a lot of people who advised me it’s a good league for my progression, and it’s good to join a club like Brighton who know what they want, an ambitious club.
"It’s the dream of every player to come and play in the Premier League. They said it’s different to Ligue 1 – but you see that on the TV.
"To be a big player you have to prove yourself in the big leagues and that is what pushed me a bit to come here.
"I wanted to come and show what I can do in the Premier League and help the team move forward."
💬 “I’ve come here to prove myself at the highest level – it’s a dream to play in the @premierleague at this ambitious club.”— Brighton & Hove Albion ⚽️ (@OfficialBHAFC) 17 July 2018
The new man is delighted to join Albion! 🇲🇱#BissoumaAnnounced#BHAFC 🔵⚪️
Read ➡️ https://t.co/gMkiBTtfGQ pic.twitter.com/zxY48YWsNL
Brighton manager Chris Hughton told the club’s website: "We are delighted to have signed Yves and are pleased to welcome him to the club.
"We have been keen to strengthen the squad in the central midfield positions and this will add to our options in this area. I am very much looking forward to working with him.
"He is someone with good technical ability on the ball and has good experience at a relatively young age after playing regularly in a competitive French league for the past two seasons."
Bissouma began his senior career with Malian side AS Real Bamako, before moving to Lille in 2016.
Over the past two seasons, he made 55 appearances for Lille, scoring twice for the French side.
The talented midfielder made his senior debut for Mali in 2015 and has won 15 caps for his country.