By Noel Whelan

22nd Nov, 2022 | 7:32am

Pundit issues unexpected Yves Bissouma claim as Tottenham close to new deal

Noel Whelan has claimed Tottenham can “future-proof” their midfield by handing Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg a new contract.

The former Leeds striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, insisted Hojbjerg, Yves Bissouma, and Rodrigo Bentancur are “three of the best” midfielders in the Premier League.

This site revealed on 12 November that Tottenham are opening talks on a bumper new deal for the 27-year-old Denmark international – who is regarded as “instrumental” by Antonio Conte.

Former Southampton star Hojbjerg and Bentancur have often operated as a midfield pair with Spurs sitting fourth in the Premier League over the mid-season World Cup break.

Meanwhile, Bissouma has started just seven of a possible 22 games since his reported £25million summer arrival from Brighton.

Sources told Football Insider last month (6 October) that Bissouma is being snubbed by Conte at Tottenham due to tactical indiscipline – which has seen him struggle to replicate the roles of Hojbjerg and Bentancur.

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Nevertheless, Whelan insisted the Italian need not sign a new central midfielder in the coming windows despite his pleas for transfer reinforcements.

He told Football Insider’s Ewan Kingsbury: “I think that midfield is future-proof if that deal can be done.

“Conte doesn’t need to look to far now in terms of a new central midfielder – even if he wants more players in the transfer market.

“Hojbjerg, Bissouma, and Bentancur – they’re three of the best in the Premier League.

“Hojbjerg has surpassed every expectation that I had of him. He’s got better and better, and he’s probably now first on the teamsheet for Tottenham.

Rodrigo Bentancur

“It goes to show how much he’s developed.

“I think they can’t afford to let him walk away so a new contract is definitely the smart move there.”

In other news, Tottenham expert slams Gareth Southgate after Harry Kane “injury scare”.