If fully fit, Yves Bissouma has to start against Brighton

Yves Bissouma is expected back at Hotspur Way by Wednesday and will be assessed to see if there are any lingering concerns after playing through malaria at the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON).
Tottenham Hotspur v Newcastle United - Premier League
Tottenham Hotspur v Newcastle United - Premier League / Visionhaus/GettyImages

First of all, who is mentally and physically resilient enough to play through malaria? Yes, I said malaria! The 27-year-old, like Sonny, put his nation first and battled through the debilitating disease. He is officially disease-free, but Tottenham won't take any chances. After he's assessed, whether he'll start against Brighton should be clear.

If he's fully fit, the Malian is a shoo-in to start. He's that influential despite his recent indiscipline. Bissouma received a four-match ban after he saw red against Nottingham Forest, his second sending-off of the season. While he needs to address his indiscipline, Bissouma is too versatile, athletic, and impactful not to start. Ange's system makes the Malian almost indispensable.

On Feb. 3, Bissouma was introduced as a sub in the first half of extra time in Mali's 2-1 quarterfinal defeat to the Ivory Coast. His brief cameo and a week of rest put him in pole position to start. Again, that is entirely predicated on his forthcoming medical assessment, which will most likely occur on Wednesday.

If he gets the all-clear from club doctors, I can't see Ange passing up an opportunity to get him back into the fold against his former side. Enough time has passed for Ange to cool off after his obvious annoyance about Bissouma's rash challenge at Forest. The gaffer's touchline reaction should be enough reason for Bissouma not to recommit.