For much of his Tottenham career, Moussa Sissoko has looked very poorly suited for what the club is trying to do; an aging, inconsistent player among a young, hungry, improving squad.
At a staggeringly low cost, Mauricio Pochettino has assembled a Champions League standard squad but Sissoko looked like his expensive oversight; a botched attempt at adding premium stardust to an exciting team.
But in recent weeks, something has changed and Pochettino’s vision for Sissoko has become clear. The Frenchman’s bumbling style has given way to an energetic approach which has been crucial in knitting the side together.
Sissoko’s forward bursts have offered legs to a side that has looked short on fuel at times this season and he has also been key in terms of winning the ball back and protecting the Spurs defence.
That has won the hearts of the club’s fans for the time being but the Frenchman needed a key moment within a match to complete his transformation.
That’s a tricky ask for a player who isn’t necessarily creative but he unlocked Tottenham’s must-win game with Inter last night, bursting through the Italians’ ranks before playing in Dele Alli to supply Christian Eriksen’s vital winner.