Tottenham midfielder Yves Bissouma has revealed his ambitions to emulate Yaya Toure, in a sit-down discussion with the Manchester City legend.
Bissouma joined Tottenham in June from Brighton on a £25million deal, while Toure arrived at the club one month later after he was handed a full-time role coaching for the club’s academy.
In a video posted on Tottenham’s official Twitter account, Bissouma revealed that Toure was his hero growing up, and joked that he’s ‘coming for the Ballon d’Or’ after receiving advice from the former Ivory Coast international.
Bissouma said: ‘I can’t believe I am with you, to be honest. Everyone knows – my family, my friends – that I am a big fan of you.
‘When I was young I was watching you every day. I remember when I was in the academy in Mali, my inspiration was you.
‘When they ask me which player do you like, which player do you think was the best in [my] position, I say you because, as a midfielder as well, I want to be like you one day. I know it’s not easy, but you can give me some secrets.’
Giving advice to the 26-year-old, Toure advised Bissouma to be ‘coachable’ and get the best out of himself every day.
He said: ‘The most important is try to be coachable, when I say try to be coachable, listen and focus all the time, always be focused.
‘Take care of yourself. it’s really, really important because games in Premier League come week in, week out. Playing for me has always been [more] important than training.
‘That doesn’t mean I say don’t train, you have to train and always try to be available as much as you can because for your development it is really, really important.’
He added: ‘The most important is how you get the best out of it and you can take that with you. For you every day it is time for you to develop to improve and be better and better.
‘Everything for me was challenging, but everything for me was learning as well. If it was passing session for one hour my passing has to be better and better and better. I have to get clip of it and when I pass like that it is better and when I pass like that is is no good. I have to change it.’
In response to Toure’s comments, Bissouma joked that he’s ‘coming for the Ballon d’Or.’
Bissouma has had to make do with limited minutes since his arrival to Tottenham, with just one Premier League start and five appearances off the bench.
Manager Antonio Conte has often preferred to go for the combination of Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Rodrigo Bentancur in the centre of the park.
Speaking about Bissouma earlier this month ahead of their game with Fulham, Conte said: ‘He needs to work, go totally into the idea of football.
‘He’s a step behind Bentancur and Hojbjerg. The same for [Oliver] Skipp working with me all of last season. I’m pleased with what I’ve seen during the game and we’re talking about a player with good skills and who is strong physically with a good engine.’