Brighton boss Graham Potter admits it is tough to replace the “unique” talents of midfielder Yves Bissouma ahead of a Premier League clash with potential suitors Arsenal.
The influential Mali international is a doubt for Saturday evening’s game at the Amex Stadium, having sat out Monday’s 1-1 draw at Crystal Palace due to a knee injury.
Bissouma’s standout performances for the Seagulls have led him to be linked with a host of top clubs, including Mikel Arteta’s Gunners, Manchester United and Liverpool.
Potter – who picked Adam Lallana and Pascal Gross in the central positions at Selhurst Park – is waiting on the 25-year-old’s availability and fully aware of his distinctive qualities.
“We haven’t got a direct replacement for Yves,” said the Brighton head coach.
“He is unique. We have to find a solution as a team. But we have got other options.
“We just have to find the right replacement for Yves if he does not make the game.”
In addition to Lallana and Gross, Jakub Moder and Alexis Mac Allister are the other fit alternatives currently available to Potter.
Bissouma was injured in the 2-1 win over Leicester a fortnight ago, while fellow midfielder Steven Alzate suffered an ankle problem against Patrick Vieira’s Eagles, joining summer signing Enock Mwepu (groin) in the treatment room.
High-flying Brighton are seeking to continue their strong start to the campaign against Arsenal after taking 13 points from the 18 available so far.
Having begun with three consecutive defeats without scoring, the Gunners are also in form and will arrive in Sussex searching for a fourth successive top-flight success on the back of last weekend’s derby win over north London rivals Tottenham.
“For us to get a positive result against Arsenal, the team need to play well,” said Potter.
“They’re a high-quality Premier League team with some fantastic players.
“Obviously they’re in a really good moment because they had a fantastic win against their big north London rivals.
“They got off to a tough start (against Brentford) and then they played Chelsea and Manchester City and it’s interesting how the narrative is three games later, it’s a bit of a clearer picture.
“You can see the quality that Arsenal have, they’re very well organised, so it’s going to be a tough game.”