Graham Potter accepts Brighton might not be able to afford to keep Yves Bissouma this summer but hopes to persuade him his Premier League education is worth more than a £40million transfer to one of the Premier League’s Big Six.
The Mali international turned in another strong performance against Chelsea and goes into the game against Sheffield United with the eyes of Manchester United, Manchester City, Arsenal and Liverpool all burning into him.
Having signed a five-year contract when he joined from Lille in 2018, the 24-year-old will have just two years of that to run in the summer.
He initially struggled with discipline in the English game but this season has developed into a midfielder powerful enough to attract such loft attention.
But Potter still feels he is some way off the finished article and would be better honing his talent at the Amex Stadium where the spotlight is less intense.
“He has certainly improved,” the Brighton manager said. “The exciting thing for Yves is he can improve some more. He’s not at the top. But he’s got incredible potential and incredible talent.
“He’s got the attributes to play midfield in any game in the world.
“Like any player, we have to be honest and sensible enough to know that if a player is good enough to play at that level and has that opportunity, then we shouldn’t be scared of that.
“Clearly there’s a consequence to that in terms of transfer fees, etc etc. That’s out of my control.
“At the same time, Yves is happy. He’s enjoying his football, he enjoys his life. He knows he’s in an environment here that people care for him, that look after him and want the best for him.