Moussa Sissoko has had an excellent start to the season for Newcastle, after being used in his more natural role of central midfield. He had been used as a right winger before and never managed to get the consistency to show his ability, but now he is emerging as a quality player. The Frenchman has replaced Yohan Cabaye as the key player for Newcastle, with his energetic, powerful bursts forward from midfield being a crucial part of the Toons counter attacking football. He also provides strength in the midfield to regain possession as he has the ability to win the ball back for his side, before driving forward with it. Newcastle have been lost when he hasn’t played, and they could be faced with a huge problem if interest intensifies this month.
There have been links to Arsenal and PSG, which is no surprise given his excellent form. However neither of these sides really need a player like Sissoko. He would add power to the Arsenal midfield, which is needed, but he isn’t the holding midfielder that their side desperately needs. While PSG have a lot of quality midfielders, and Sissoko may struggle to breakthrough. The French side have been rumoured to be open to offering Newcastle Yohan Cabaye as part of the deal, which would surely interest the English club if his wage demands aren’t too crazy.
Although there is no manager in place at Newcastle, this deal could still happen as the next appointment, like Alan Pardew, will have no say in transfers, therefore he wouldn’t be able to stop this deal anyway. There have been rumours that Newcastle don’t wish to sell their key man, and unlike Cabaye, Sissoko isn’t pushing for a move, but if big money is offered, Mike Ashley will not say no. The French international was signed for around £1.6m, therefore any bid of around £15m would see Newcastle turn a huge profit on the midfielder, which is exactly how Ashley wants his club’s transfer strategy to run.
The Frenchman has scored 2 goals in the league and made 1 assist, however these stats don’t show his true influence on the side, as he often is the player that starts counter attacks and creates a lot of Newcastle’s goalscoring opportunities indirectly. Without Sissoko, Newcastle would be a lot less effective on the break as he allows them to get forward with such pace and quality. His passing completion rate of 79.2% is slightly underwhelming, but he is often running at pace, which makes finding his target harder.
He has been given a free role at Newcastle, which he may struggle to get elsewhere. He is still only 25, with a lot of years of football ahead of him. The wisest choice may be to finish the season at Newcastle playing regular first team football, before deciding to go to a bigger club, as Yohan Cabaye, Loic Remy and Demba Ba have all left Newcastle and failed to find a first team place. It has to be the right move and unlike the three I’ve mentioned, Sissoko has time on his side as he has yet to reach the peak of his footballing abilities.
It will be an interesting month following the interest in the French midfielder, as Newcastle are never far away from selling their key player. This year, they are in a less secure position than last year which would make it a calculated gamble from Mike Ashley. Money is always the key motivator for him when it comes to Newcastle United and cashing in on their key player may be too tempting to refuse.