Moussa Sissoko, a success story of the highest order.
Who’d have thought we’d be writing this piece at the beginning of the season? Certainly not us, that’s who. But here we are at the end of the campaign, with just a Champions League final remaining in Spurs’ rollercoaster season, kissing the feet of Moussa Sissoko – the donkey who has turned it all around to become a fan favourite.
Sky Sports pundit Jamie Redknapp has called Pochettino’s achievement of transforming Sissoko into a genuine midfield powerhouse a “masterstroke”, and we cannot help but agree with him.
Now, we don’t want to sound too harsh but…the Frenchman was genuinely awful when he completed his move from Newcastle in 2016 for a relatively astronomical fee of £30million. A liability in every sense of the word, Sissoko looked totally void of any technical ability. His touch was awful, he ran around the pitch like a headless chicken, his creative talents were almost non-existent and in front of goal, he was about as much use as a chocolate teapot.
Fast forward to the end of the 2018/19 campaign, however, and everything, and we mean everything, has changed. Yes, he still runs around like a maniac at times, and we doubt this part of his game will ever fully disappear – simply because his gangly, unpredictable profile won’t allow it, but generally speaking, his approach seems far more calculated. He doesn’t look like he’s going to implode when he’s given more than one option to pass to, he’s sensible on the ball. Spurs can trust him to get the job done now, and absolutely bust a gut in the process.
Sissoko is a simple player, don’t get us wrong. You won’t find him employing the trickery of countryman Paul Pogba, nor will he ever ping howitzer passes like teammate Christian Eriksen or clinically find the back of the net like Harry Kane. But he’s got bags of spirit and an admirably average arsenal of footballing talents, and that’s why we all can’t help but appreciate him: immeasurable amounts of work has got him to where he is.
Spurs fans, is Sissoko your most improved player? How important is he for your club going forwards? Let us know in the comments below!