Moussa Sissoko is slowly starting to turn around his career at Tottenham with some encouraging displays at the beginning of this campaign. The Frenchman is never going to fully live up to his £30 million price tag as he is simply not at that level, but he is showing that he has a part to play for Mauricio Pochettino’s side. Last season, his attitude was questioned by the Argentine coach as he made only eight Premier League starts. There was work to do and although he isn’t known for being a devastating player in the final third, two assists and no goals wasn’t good enough for a player that cost as much as he did.
At the beginning of the new season, Sissoko has been given a more prominent role in the first-team and has already reached 339 minutes played in the Premier League. He is set to surpass the 903 minutes that he managed during the last campaign. The injury problems of Mousa Dembele and Victor Wanyama have given an opportunity to the Frenchman and he is making the most of it. There was one point during the weekend’s win over Bournemouth that his name was being chanted by a section of the crowd and that is recognition of his improvement. He has a long way to do, but there are signs that he is moving in the right direction.
There has been an improvement in both halves of the pitch in terms of his underlying stats. Sissoko has been averaging 2.67 chances created and 1.87 shots per ninety minutes. This is an increase from last season’s average of 1.95 chances created and 1.65 shots. He looks more confident in the final third and more at home in the Tottenham squad. It was a big step up to move from a relegated side to one in the top six. At Newcastle, the midfielder was rightly criticised for his poor attitude and lack of hunger on the pitch. They remained for the beginning of his Spurs’ career and were discussed by Pochettino in a press-conference, but there has been a noticeable change in attitude since the start of this season and that has helped him improve on the pitch.
It was a big step up to move from a relegated side to one in the top six. At Newcastle, the midfielder was rightly criticised for his poor attitude and lack of hunger on the pitch. They remained for the beginning of his Spurs’ career and were discussed by Pochettino in a press-conference, but there has been a noticeable change in attitude since the start of this season and that has helped him improve on the pitch.
Defensively, Sissoko has been more willing to dig in and work hard for the team when Spurs don’t have possession. This was one of his weaknesses during his time at Newcastle. This season, he has averaged 1.6 successful tackles and 1.07 interceptions per ninety minutes, compared to last season when he averaged 1.07 successful tackles and 0.68 interceptions. Pochettino demands that every player runs themselves into the ground for the team. It has taken some time for the midfielder to adapt, but these improvements show that he is starting to do what his manager asks.
Although it is way too soon to suggest Sissoko is now proving that he is good enough for the team and worthy of a £30 million transfer fee, he has started the season well and there has been an improvement since he joined the club. At the age of 28, he is unlikely to ever be considered one of the key players at Spurs, but he can be a good squad player for them if he continues to work hard for the team. The career revival of the French international has been an unlikely story to emerge from the opening weeks of the season at Tottenham.