France national team manager Didier Deschamps has hailed midfielder Moussa Sissoko as a player who is ‘appreciated by team-mates and feared by opponents’, and has denied claims he is the France manager’s ‘darling’.

The much maligned Sissoko is often the target of criticism from Spurs fans who wonder why the club broke their transfer record to sign him from Newcastle for £30million two summers ago and the 28-year-old is often the punchline of jokes surrounding the national team too.

An article by talkSPORT says “Les Bleus” fans have questioned his continued presence in Deschamps’ squad despite his not so great record for Spurs – Sissoko has scored two goals and provided eight assists since joining Tottenham in August 2016.

It adds that he has even been branded a ‘teacher’s pet’ by supporters who wonder why he is always picked by the boss.However Deschamps has defended his selection, describing the midfielder as a ‘soldier’ on the pitch.

Speaking to French broadcaster SFR Sport, the head coach said: “I like Moussa Sissoko. He is not my ‘favourite’, I appreciate what he does.Moussa, he is the prototype of a soldier.
“He was the soldier of [former coach Alain] Casanova at Toulouse, he is Pochettino’s solider at Tottenham, even if it was more complicated at the start.

Deschamps added: “One just has to look at the Euro final to see what Moussa Sissoko is capable of.Aside from that, if you are going to ask him to do what Kylian Mbappe or Kingsley Coman does, he is a completely different player.
“He does not complain. Whether he starts the match or comes on after two minutes, ten minutes, twenty minutes, he gets into the match.
“He gives, he gives. He is very appreciated by his team-mates and feared by his opponents.”

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