“He’s very up and down”, “Which Sissoko have Tottenham bought?” “Newcastle fans were pleased to see the back of him”. The same remarks have been recycled and repeated in every article about our biggest purchase of the transfer window.
Have we bought the best French midfielder at Euro 2016 (a shout out here to Paul, newly arrived in Manchester) or have we been landed with the man who single handedly got Newcastle relegated last season (a mention here to Andros in South London and Georginio in Liverpool)?
£30m is a lot of money, even spread over five seasons, but in return we have speed, experience, strength and ambition. The trick will be make sure these talents don’t get submerged by whatever it was that brought him down at Newcastle.
“Mo Mo Mo, He’s magic you know, You’ll never get past Sissoko” is what we’ve heard from the Newcastle fans at WHL during the last few seasons, clearly they were singing about a different “Newcastle’s Beast” or “French Tank” to the one we’ve acquired.
The finished article? No. Going to slot straight into the side? No. Liable to be as frustrating as Townsend? Yes. Will we need to give him time? Yes.
Do we badly need pace? Oh yes. Could we benefit from more directness? Yes. Does he supply something different to what we currently have? Yes. And most importantly do we have a manager and coaches who can mould him to what we need. Again, most definitely yes.
One criticism of him is that he only turns it on for the big games. Hello Moussa, welcome to the Champions League.
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