Re-birth Of Sorts? – Why Moussa Sissoko Can Reinvent Himself As A Box-to-Box Midfielder
Moussa Sissoko’s £30million move from Newcastle United to Tottenham last summer might not have turned out the way Spurs might have hoped for, with Frenchman being disastrous last season.
But the 28-year-old could have a big role to play for Spurs this season if he could switch back to his previous role of being a box-to-box midfielder at Newcastle. Despite his obvious physicality and speed, the midfielder has rarely displayed his potential while playing for Spurs.
His start against Everton last week came as a surprise, with Pochettino choosing Sissoko over Dembele. But, Spurs were maybe resting Dembele for the home against Dortmund on Wednesday.
Initially, he started the game in his usual role behind Harry Kane while Eriksen dropped back to a deep lying playmaker role. But just like always, there wasn’t much success for him in that role.
Yes, he did not score, he did not assist, nor was he pressing really hard. He wasn’t exactly a revelation on the pitch. Sissoko did look threatening on the counter as he kept the opposition’s defence on their toes. With Sissoko being in an advanced possession up the pitch, Everton had a tough task at hand to stop him on the counter.
Pochettino has always preferred to play him in an attacking position on the right, which is clearly not working. But the good news is that Sissoko has shown glimpses of what he can do when he is played in a deeper role, during his time at Newcastle.
The opposition found it very difficult to mark the Frenchman and whenever they did, Sissoko looked a serious threat prancing forward. He was at the end of two brilliant deliveries in the game but ruined the opportunity by playing himself offside.
His imposing stature and powerful running makes him one of Premier League’s most impressive midfield players but the question is, will he be able to take the limited chances he gets, as the season progresses?
The Tottenham side has challenged for the league title in the last couple of seasons and will only be targeting the best talents in the world. Sissoko must step up, and stake his claim in Pochettino’s side, for him to have any kind of future at Tottenham.
It remains to be seen if Pochettino will once again start the Frenchman in the Champions League on Wednesday as they face Bundesliga giants, Borussia Dortmund. Spurs could well use Sissoko’s strength and pace to hit them on the counter. So, a box-to-box role seems perfect for Sissoko.