Is Tottenham's pursuit of Moussa Sissoko a desperate move?
Moussa Sissoko has been linked with a move away from Newcastle since the club were relegated from the Premier League. It has been a protracted saga, which has left the midfielder’s position at St James’ Park untenable. He has given several interviews stating his desire to leave and even retweeted them onto his Twitter timeline, angering Newcastle fans in the process.
Although it is understandable that he wants to move to a level that better suits his talent, he has gone about it in the wrong way and that has left him desperately scrambling for a move on deadline day.
Tottenham are believed to be the frontrunners for the player that starred at Euro 2016 and Sky Sports report that they have placed a bid of £16 million this morning. Daniel Levy is keen to add another midfielder to the squad at White Hart Lane and Sissoko appears to be at the top of his wish list. It is an odd move that doesn’t fit into the transfer policy at Tottenham and could show that the club are starting to panic as the deadline draws closer.
Although he had a superb Euros, clubs are reluctant to pay the asking price for Sissoko as his domestic performances have been far from consistent. He is a player who believes he should be playing Champions League football, but he hasn’t earned it. At Newcastle, he could be unplayable on his day, but he was also liable to downing tools when things were going badly, and this was an all too frequent scenario.
His character is questionable, which makes Tottenham’s interest look desperate. Sissoko doesn’t have the work rate to carry out Pochettino’s high intensity pressing game. He showed that he is capable of it at Euro 2016, but he hasn’t delivered it consistently and at his age, that is unlikely to change. Tottenham have a great team spirit and Sissoko could be a disruptive influence on that, as he has been at Newcastle.
One complaint that Newcastle have about Sissoko is that his best games came in the big televised matches and against weaker opposition he went missing. This could go some way to explain his Euro 2016 performances. He rises to the big occasion, but he can’t be relied to perform when things aren’t going great.
The fee is proving to be an issue as Newcastle are demanding upwards of £30 million. It is understandable why they are wanting a huge fee as Sissoko had a great Euros and his value is at an all-time high. The modern transfer market is crazy and when Ryan Mason is worth £13 million, Newcastle have every right to want significantly more for their French international midfielder, especially considering his performances at the Euros.
This is a saga that is likely to run for the entire day and it is going to be a game of cat and mouse between the two clubs. Tottenham will be hoping that Newcastle lower their valuation as Sissoko is desperate to leave and it could damage the team spirit at St James’ Park if he stays. Daniel Levy is unlikely to offer anything close to Newcastle’s asking price, but Rafa Benitez might feel it is best to cut his losses and let Sissoko leave. They will still get a good fee and could reinvest that in the squad.
Sissoko has been released by France to travel back to England today. It is unknown yet whether a deal is close to being agreed, but the general feeling is this is freeing him up in case a fee is agreed. It is going to be an interesting story to follow and if he does go to Spurs, it will be tough for him to break into the starting XI. It seems desperate from Levy as Sissoko doesn’t fit into the squad that is being built at White Hart Lane and the lack of work ethic could be a real problem if he does make the move.
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