Tottenham midfielder Yves Bissouma could potentially be handed a new shirt number ahead of the 2023/24 Premier League season
Yves Bissouma looks raring to go after returning to Hotspur Way on Saturday morning for the start of pre-season training under Ange Postecoglou. Dealt a bad hand in his debut season at the club with injury severely limiting his football in the second part of the campaign, it is a huge year coming up for the Mali international.
Arriving at the club’s training base on Saturday with a big smile on his face and stating ‘we’re back’ to the camera a number of times, Bissouma will be intent on putting last term behind him and showing everyone why he was brought to the club in the first place. A new season does represent a fresh start after all and the midfielder will be out to make up for lost time.
As part of his fresh start, the 26-year-old could well take on a brand new number for the 2023/24 campaign. Joining from Brighton & Hove Albion 13 months ago, it was confirmed ahead of Spurs’ pre-season tour of South Korea that Ivan Perisic and Bissouma would wear numbers 22 and 38 respectively.
Tottenham did state at the time that “the numbers worn by these two players during pre-season may not be representative of their finalised squad numbers for 2022/23”. Whereas Perisic did changes numbers and took on his preferred No.14 shirt after Joe Rodon agreed to trade with him after the Croat had personally phoned his teammate, Bissouma, in the end, remained with the No.38.Appearing that it was linked to Harry Winks’ future as the midfielder was in possession of the No.8 shirt that Bissouma had worn in his four seasons with Brighton, Winks still remained a Tottenham player on the eve of the Premier League season when Spurs’ shirt numbers were officially confirmed and it wasn’t until the end of the month when he finally departed on loan to Sampdoria. As a result, the No.8 jersey was left vacant over the course of the season as Bissouma played with No.38 on his back.
Following the end of his Sampdoria loan spell which officially came to an end on Friday, June 30, Winks has penned a three-year deal with Championship side Leicester City. The academy graduate’s exit does now mean that the No.8 shirt is there for Bissouma if he wants to take it on.
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That could soon become clear as it won’t be long until Postecoglou’s squad jet off to Australia as part of their pre-season tour. West Ham are first up for the Lilywhites with a friendly between the two at Optus Stadium in Perth down on the schedule for Tuesday, July 18.