At just 23 years of age, it is hard to believe that recent Newcastle acquisition Moussa Sissoko has already made 220 appearances as a professional footballer. What is even harder to believe, is that a player with so much experience at such a young age was lured to St James' Park for just £2 million.
And whilst all the attention surrounding the January transfer has been directed at the likes of Mario Balotelli, Willian and Chris Samba, it is Sissoko's transfer to Newcastle which could very well prove to be the signing of the winter window...if not the year.
Moussa Sissoko is a superstar in the making and is exactly the kind of player Newcastle needed to get their season back on track. Six from six points in his first two matches for the club is further indication of the impact Sissoko stands to make...not to mention his recent double to down Chelsea in emphatic fashion.
During the Frenchman's time at Toulouse in Ligue 1, Sissoko featured as a defensive midfielder, generally appearing as an anchor in a five-man midfield. Such a position made effective use of his strength, defensive awareness and athletic ability. Whilst he proved an extremely valuable asset to the club, his not yet developed ability of distributing long balls merely rendered him a first team player...and nothing more.
In essence, Sissoko's talent has been capped by the way he has been used on the pitch up until now. Sure, he adopts a similar playing style to Patrick Viera, but unlike Viera, Sissoko could make a name for himself as an attacking midfielder and if his first two appearances in the English Premier League are anything to go by, a world class attacking midfielder.
In his first two appearances for Newcastle, Alan Pardew has elected to use Sissoko in just this way. Against both Aston Villa and Chelsea, the French International has spearheaded the Magpies' midfield, sitting in just behind Papiss Cisse. The result? Two goals and one assist in two appearances.
Not bad going for a £2 million winter signing.
The next few weeks with Newcastle will be telling for the career of Sissoko. With Tottenham next up in the league, Newcastle have a chance to make it three from three as they push for a strong finish in the EPL.
No doubt fans will be hoping Sissoko's recent form will continue, and although 24 goals in 218 appearances for Toulouse is perhaps not a sign of a goal-getter, remember he did this while serving as the defensive presence in a five-man midfield. The guy is a raw talent and by all accurate accounts, Newcastle have made a habit of finding players with such characteristics of late.
Let's just hope he seizes the opportunity.
He isn't the first Sissoko to grace the Premier League, but he very well could become the best to ever play in England. With effective management Moussa Sissoko is destined to become a superstar. France and Newcastle alike have an exciting prospect on their hands.
Watch this space.
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