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DONE DEAL: Tottenham announce signing of Yves Bissouma from Brighton

This is a massively important signing for Spurs. With, y’know, a big caveat.

Brighton & Hove Albion v Manchester City - Premier League Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

It’s done! Tottenham Hotspur have finalized their third first-team addition of the summer, signing central midfielder and Mali international Yves Bissouma from Brighton & Hove Albion. The transfer fee was reportedly around £25m, with escalators that could take it north of £30m if all fully met. Bissouma’s new wages haven’t been disclosed at this time, but we are certain he got a sizeable bump up from his £25,000/week at Brighton.

One of Tottenham’s biggest needs this summer was additional reinforcement in the central midfield area. In that sense, this is a home run signing. Bissouma is a hard tackling central midfielder who is a real presence in the center of the pitch for Brighton last season, and easily one of their best players. He’s also a plus passer from that position and should be a hard working, progressive presence in Spurs’ midfield once he masters Conte’s Patterns™. He’s easily a big step up from Harry Winks (who is expected to leave the club) and joins a Spurs midfield that includes Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, Rodrigo Bentancur, and Oliver Skipp. And there could be one more reinforcement coming depending on the decision of Christian Eriksen.

This is indisputably a good football move. But there’s... the other thing — Bissouma continues to be part of an ongoing sexual assault investigation from an incident at a Brighton nightclub last October. We’ve parsed that situation enough and I won’t tell anyone how to feel about that situation, only to reiterate that we really don’t know anything and likely won’t until the club is formally and legally allowed to comment. That could be a while, and makes the whole situation kind of hoary and gross, especially to Tottenham fans who are victims of sexual assault themselves. Your reaction to this signing is no doubt going to be colored by that lens: some will be bothered, others won’t care. Either way we won’t know until we do, and we all have to grapple with that ambiguity.

At any rate, Yves Bissouma is now a Tottenham Hotspur player. Welcome to the club!