The future of Moussa Sissoko has been one of the most talked about subjects this transfer window. He is still with Newcastle United, but it remains extremely unlikely that he will stay. In the media, he has constantly talked about his desire to leave and move to a Premier League club. On Saturday, he was in the stands at St James’ Park and received a lot of abuse from the Newcastle fans. The situation is poisonous and although Newcastle are asking for £35m, he is likely to be on the move before the end of the month.
Everton are the latest Premier League club to be linked to Moussa Sissoko, as they continue splashing the cash under Ronald Koeman. In the last seven days, they have brought in Ashley Williams and Yannick Bolasie. It looks like Koeman is looking to bring in players who are used to the Premier League and Sissoko certainly fits that bill. He has been at Newcastle for over three years and showed signs of his ability in that time.
His best position has long been debated since he moved to England. He has mostly been used as a right winger, but he sees himself as a central midfielder. Towards the end of last season, Rafa Benitez utilised him behind the striker and he thrived in that role. If Everton do make a move for the French international, it will be interesting to see how he fits into their system. They would likely use him in central midfield as they need to improve their transition play. In Idrissa Gueye, they have a player capable of retrieving the ball, but they need one who can carry the ball from defence to attack.
Sissoko certainly fits that bill. On his day, he can be devastating and run through opposing midfields using his pace and power. He showed how dangerous he can be in the final of Euro 2016. Sissoko was arguably France’s biggest threat and he was unlucky not to score in the first half. He struggled at Newcastle as a lot of pressure was put on him to produce the goods, but he appeared to have a new lease of life in the France side and could take that form into his next club.
The price-tag that Newcastle have placed on his is an eye-watering one. The Frenchman scored only one goal last season and went missing for large portions of the season. His technical ability and decision making are both questionable. Sissoko is excellent at running with the ball and beating players with his strength. However, he rarely produces when he gets into the final third. Last season, his inability to score and create goals was a major reason for Newcastle getting relegated. The Magpies placed a lot of emphasis on Sissoko in the final third and he didn’t deliver.
There are also doubts about his work rate. At Euro 2016, he was relentless in helping his side defensively, but that wasn’t true of his performances for Newcastle. He only performed against the big sides in the league and went missing when he was needed most. Throughout the season, he frequently spoke about his desire to play in the Champions League and this unsettled the dressing room. He has showed a lack of respect for Newcastle over the last year and they will be happy to get rid of him.
Everton’s transfer business has been odd and if they spend £35m on Sissoko, they will have had a bad summer. They may be spending lots of money, but they haven’t done so wisely. There is little value buying from other Premier League clubs and that has been evident in the prices that Everton are being quoted for their targets. Moussa Sissoko may have looked good this summer, but he has been inconsistent at Newcastle and his attitude prevents him from making the most from his talent. Everton could do a lot better.