However, somehow, the midfielder is still not getting the accolades he deserves within the realms of N17.
Maybe this is because of his unorthodox style on the ball, which sometimes may lead him to take a wild touch or skyrocket a shot into the stands. Or perhaps it stems back to the bad first year he endured, where he struggled to impose himself in the side and was viewed, in all honestly, as a bit of a laughing stock.
Slowly but surely, the 31-year-old has embedded himself into the side. Now, with Jose Mourinho’s new-look 4-3-3 outfit, Sissoko is proving his worth. New signing Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg is taking all the credit for the new protective base that the midfield offers, but the praise should be equally shared with his counterpart.
In both recent games against Manchester City and Chelsea, Sissoko played a vital part in Tottenham keeping their deep defensive shape. The midfielder acted like a second right-back, offering great protection for Serge Aurier.
He also shifted into the centre-back role on command as he was more interested in sniffing out the threats of Timo Werner and Gabriel Jesus than pressing the opposing midfield in both of these games.
The 31-year-old is clearly highly regarded by Mourinho. He’s hard-working, physical, fast and a great forward dribbler to begin a counter-attacking transition.
If you could create a prototype for a Mourinho defensive midfielder, Sissoko’s attributes wouldn’t be far off. He remains under the radar; he remains underappreciated… but maybe that suits the big friendly giant.
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