When the news filtered through that Spurs had decided to go ahead and match Everton’s £30m bid for Moussa Sissoko, we could sense two things, firstly, we were into Levy time with an hour left before the transfer window slammed shut, but secondly, and perhaps more importantly, we could sense desperation within that club-record £30m bid.
Yes, the Frenchman has been known to produce a piece of magic from time-to-time in his spell in the north-east, but for me, these moments have been few and far between, and the new Spurs signing has been known to disappear in games, playing a part in the relegation of Newcastle United at the end of last season, so I would like to ask, why have Spurs forked out £30m for an unreliable and inconsistent midfielder?
Many are quick to criticise Sissoko, and you can be forgiven for doing so, if you are judging the 27-year-old purely on domestic performances, in particular before Rafa Benitez took charge at St James Park, but on the European stage in his home country for France, the former Newcastle man was a completely different animal, and has received huge praise for his performances in the European Championships, most notably in the semi-finals and the final.
The Frenchman’s performances also seemed to change for the better after Benitez came in to try and steer Newcastle clear of the drop, and Sissoko began to show a little more desire in his play, starting to carry the ball forward with more purpose and working harder for the team. This is the Sissoko we would like to see at Spurs, but the question hangs, can Pochettino bring the very best out of Sissoko?
Surely I am not the only Spurs fan who sensed desperation in Daniel Levy’s £30m bid in the final hour of the transfer window? The situation for Levy was that he had seen Ryan Mason, Nacer Chadli and Nabil Bentaleb leave the club on either a temporary or permanent basis n recent times, losing some of the squad depth that will prove key in the season ahead, and needed somebody to fill the gap.
The Chairman had also seen Paul Mitchell leave the club over the summer, with the main reason for that being missing out on key targets, and did not want to further upset key figures at the club such as the manager himself after he missed out on key men over the summer window, Michy Batshuayi for example.
So, Levy had to do something, he had to bring somebody in, and as usual, it was done at the very last minute, resulting in £30m being spent on Sissoko. As we have discussed before, the Frenchman’s performances have improved over the last few months, but we have little evidence that the midfielder will be able to show this kind of form on a consistent basis or for the whole Premier League season. Perhaps if the problem was recognised earlier on in the window, and Pochettino along with Levy took a step back to think, I believe that money could have been better spent.
However, I hope that I am proved wrong over the next few months as Sissoko begins life at Tottenham Hotspur.