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    Brighton & Hove Albion sign Mali midfielder Yves Bissouma from Lille

    Joe Jones

    Brighton & Hove Albion have signed midfielder Yves Bissouma from Ligue 1 side Lille for an undisclosed fee.

    The 21-year-old has signed a five-year deal and becomes the club's sixth signing of the transfer window.

    Bissouma, a Mali international, made 55 appearances for Lille, scoring twice, since joining in 2016.

    Manager Chris Hughton said: “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 good experience at a relatively young age, after playing regularly in a competitive French league for the past two seasons.”

    Meanwhile, Bissouma said: “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.

    “First of all I spoke to my agent, then I spoke to Bakary Sako who plays at Crystal Palace and Molla Wague, who plays for Watford. They both said a lot of good things about the Premier League.

    “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.

    “They said it’s quite physical, quite difficult but it’s the best league in the world, that says it all.

    “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.”

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