How will Pochettino use Sissoko?

Article by Harvey Simpson @Hotspur_Huddle

Spurs swooped for Newcastle’s Moussa Sissoko on transfer deadline day in an attempt to bolster their attacking midfield options after generating a £6 million profit on Nacer Chadli by allowing him to move on to West Brom. France international Sissoko impressed many with his performances in the summer during Euro 2016, most notably during the final, and, despite not having the best of seasons with relegated Newcastle United, Spurs splashed the cash with a £30 million deal to secure his services. Pochettino clearly stated his desire to buy Sissoko and Daniel Levy cannot be criticised in my opinion, having been willing to have the 6th largest net spend in the summer and spend an enormous sum of money despite the ongoing Northumberland Development Project. We know Pochettino wanted to acquire Sissoko, he has got his man but how will he employ him and will he get the best out of him?

Right Midfield?

The Evening Standard have indicated that Sissoko is likely to be making his full debut for Spurs this Saturday against Stoke City with Erik Lamela arriving back in London too late with international duty for Argentina. Therefore, it seems likely that Sissoko will be drafted into the squad and fill in for Lamela on the right side of midfield, where he mainly played during Euro 2016. Pochettino will likely opt for Sissoko over N’Koudou because he has Premier League experience and will not take as much time to adapt to new surroundings as N’Koudou will. Pochettino has implied that he would like to play Sissoko in the attacking trio behind Harry Kane or, as he puts it, ‘the second line of offence’.

Although some will obviously and understandably have doubts about Sissoko’s footballing ability as he was part of the Newcastle team that were relegated last season, I believe that he will provide the directness, that bit of energy and strength up the pitch that we lacked against Crystal Palace and Liverpool. He demonstrated his attacking ability in international action for France on Thursday, applying his strength to get past defenders before winning a free-kick in a dangerous position. Mané has made a great impact at Liverpool, let’s hope that Sissoko will make a similar impact here in North London.

Left Midfield?

Some Spurs fans have been concerned at Christian Eriksen’s form at the beginning of the season; he looked a bit slow and maybe tired during the first couple of fixtures. Eriksen was ineffective against Crystal Palace and against Liverpool, being substituted in both games and is going through one of those bad patches which he has often endured since his move from Ajax. Now Eriksen has some competition in N’Koudou and Sissoko, plus the return of Son from the Olympics, we could see an improvement in his performances soon. However, I believe that Pochettino will decide to use Sissoko on the right side of midfield in place of Lamela against Stoke, simply because the Argentine returns later than the other members of the squad from international duty and because Eriksen scored for Denmark in midweek, perhaps suggesting a change in form is on the horizon.

Defensive Midfield?

Sissoko does give Spurs another option in the defensive midfield role protecting the back four, utilising his strength and power to shield Vertonghen and Alderweireld. Nevertheless, Spurs already have Dier and Dembele and with the acquisition of Victor Wanyama from Southampton this summer, it looks likely that Sissoko was bought to play further forward, to break the defensive line and provide energy and directness up front.

Sissoko’s attitude has been questioned numerous times, following numerous displays for Newcastle that showed little heart or desire, but Spurs fans should expect this to change. He is now fighting for a place in Pochettino’s starting eleven and with the Champions League around the corner, Sissoko will be wanting to fulfil his dream of playing on Europe’s biggest stage. We should expect energetic and vibrant displays from our new signing; he turned down Arsenal in favour of Spurs according to Olivier Giroud, and should be buzzing ahead of fighting for Champions League appearances.

What do you think? Where will Pochettino most likely play Sissoko? Which Sissoko will we see; the one at Newcastle or the one from Euro 2016? Let me know in the comments sectin below or send me a tweet, @Hotspur_Huddle

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  1. Anonymous10:38 am

    Lol - Arsenal didn't want him, and I can see why having watched him for NUFC last season. £30m squad player.

  2. Having fought to get to Spurs, I think Sissoko will fight to be in starting lineups and will be scoring faster than we can blink. #HelenInAltrinchamUK . Tottenham Till I Die <3

    1. Anonymous2:05 pm

      As a Toon fan let me say this "you've got to be joking" this signing will be the beginning of the end game for Pochy

  3. Anonymous10:51 am

    Based on this article there are going to be a lot of disappointed Spurs fans this season. He certainly does not give you an option in DM or even LM. His two positions are limited to RM or a box2box CM.

    I think he will start very well for Spurs with him wanting to prove his critics wrong. Newcastle fans will receive tons of "I told you so" comments from the press and Spurs fans. But when the dust settles and the honeymoon period is over and he is going missing 90% of the time, you'll become increasingly frustrated with him and his lack of desire and will likely come round to NUFC way of thinking (a la Pardew @ Palace).

    If you don't make Champions League again this year, expect his motivation to disappear and he will push for a move to the "beautiful" club and "club of his heart" Arsenal.

    I like Spurs, they are probably my favourite London club with, in my opinion, one of the best managers in the League, and I hope you do well. But trust me, it won't end well with Sissoko.


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