How Sissoko grew to become a Spurs hero

When the clock struck on the switch date day 2016, Tottenham appeared to shut the window with simply two new signings – Victor Wanyama and Vincent Janssen.

They had turned and missed Georginio Wijnaldum and Sadio Mane, who visited Spurs’ coaching floor however would as a substitute signal for Liverpool. Mauricio Pochettino was an enormous fan of Wilfried Zaha, however Tottenham couldn’t get him out of Crystal Palace. The membership was out there for a participant to “break the lines”.

You gave every little thing for the shirt and we is not going to overlook the reminiscences we shared collectively.

Thanks so much, @MoussaSissoko?

– Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) 27 August 2021

That by some means led them to Moussa Sissoko, who’s bought by Newcastle and one among the headliners of their infamy corridor. The French worldwide had even dived to win a penalty in opposition to Spurs of their 5-1 humiliation on the remaining day of the 2015/16 season, so he was removed from common with any of the followers.

Tottenham’s window got here to life with hours left. Georges -Kevin Nkoudou – who was attributable to signal a contract with Michy Batshuayi about two months earlier – lastly signed on the dotted line. Don ‘t open that champagne too quick, guys.

They had been not carried out there. Sissoko was on his approach to Everton for a physician, however because the story goes, he turned off the cellphone and stopped answering Toffees when he heard that Spurs had been . By the top of the evening, he had signed a five-year contract at White Hart Lane for a payment of 30 million kilos and instantly grew to become the costliest participant within the membership’s historical past.

And nobody supported him to be successful. The first yr or so, they had been proper. Sissoko spent more often than not in a heap on the bottom as we speak, his usually fast motion hindered by the slippery pitch. It didn’t work.

Being surrounded by a lot better gamers than these at Newcastle meant that Sissoko was not essentially addicted and his shortcomings as a key participant had been not revealed, however he nonetheless appeared out of his depth. There had been instances when you possibly can see his mind shut off when he was on the ball, the sense of alternative overwhelmed him, and he grew to become the butt of each joke within the N17.

But Spurs had dedicated to him with the five-year deal – he wouldn’t go anyplace, even in the event that they tried their finest. Depreciated as one among the flops for the 2016/17 season, he started the next marketing campaign on the rise.

While Mousa Dembele recovered after the operation, Sissoko had the prospect to play in midfield once more and fought with Harry Winks for the place subsequent to Eric Dier.

They crammed totally different wants for the group, and Sissoko’s excellent addition to the lineup was his power and metal. He had not likely discovered the attention for a move, nearly made Nkoudou’s legs snap in a 1-0 victory over Bournemouth as a result of his straight move when by way of on purpose was extraordinarily overheated.

Sissoko made two nice performances in opposition to Real Madrid / Power Sport Images / Getty Images

Spurs followers had lastly warmed as much as him. Before their conferences with Real Madrid within the Champions League, they lined up within the capitals of Spain and England and sang “who needs Bale when you have Sissoko?”. Just slightly heavy, although the Frenchman ran rings round Toni Kroos and Casemiro at Wembley.

When Dembele returned to the fold, Sissoko dropped out once more, however was in place to tackle the same function subsequent season.

In addition to enjoying as if he had acquired one million of those FIFA Ultimate Team attribute increase playing cards. Hell, he appeared so superhuman at instances that he made minced meat from Jorginho, N’Golo Kante and Mateo Kovacic (at the identical time) and tried to run away from a hoarding harm (on two separate events).

Spurs, after actually drawing nobody within the summer time window 2018, entered the season with a half-fitted squad that was desperately drained after the World Cup. Sissoko ran till his Stan Lee-designed physique couldn’t take it anymore. He stopped the gaps, he carried the load, and most significantly, he was the top of Ajax’s midfield to ensure that Spurs reached the Champions League remaining (simply don’t point out what occurred subsequent).

Spurs wouldn’t have overwhelmed Ajax with out Sissoko / VI-Images / Getty Images

There had been large questions on whether or not he may hold this manner. While Tottenham’s squad was in want of a refresher, the membership selected to present Sissoko a brand new four-year contract, even to Pochettino’s disappointment. At that point it appeared silly and it nonetheless does as we speak, with Sissoko who’s once more slightly greater than a squad participant.

He leaves Watford as one of the beloved gamers within the Spurs locker room, and followers is not going to say a dangerous phrase about his efforts, his ardour for the membership or his drive to win – Newcastle supporters had warned us in any other case. .

Sissoko’s enduring legacy is you could not look again and marvel at Pochettino’s successes with out him. It by some means makes one among Spurs’ strangest signings successful.

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