Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Moussa Sissoko made his first Premier League start for his new club since his deadline day switch from Newcastle, and now manager Mauricio Pochettino has to figure out where to play the new recruit on a regular basis.
While capable of operating both as a central-midfielder and wide man, Spurs are overstocked in both areas which may mean Sissoko has to be patient for game time, especially if he underwhelms like he did on his full home debut.
Stiff competition for a place in central midfield
Tottenham were attracted to Moussa Sissoko because of the power and industry shown for France in this summer’s European Championships. It’s why Victor Wanyama was signed, and why Moussa Dembele underwent a major transformation to ensure he would play under manager Mauricio Pochettino, but the Lilywhites don’t have an obvious void Sissoko can fill when everyone is fit.
Last season, it was Eric Dier, Moussa Dembele and Dele Alli provide the power and box-to-box threat from midfield, but now the added muscle of Wanyama has given Tottenham even more steel. Sissoko is somewhat of a blend of both Wanyama and Dembele without the consistency and isn’t likely to keep out a first-team regular on merit from what he showed during his years with Newcastle.
Conventional wide man not required due to attacking fullbacks
Sissoko played as a right-winger against Sunderland on the weekend, but it’s unlikely that will be a regular tactical decision by Pochettino. While having operated in the role a lot at Newcastle, Tottenham’s flanks are occupied by the marauding fullbacks, while the forwards ahead of them take central roles to bolster the attack.
Right-back Kyle Walker loves having the entire flank to run down, but having Sissoko in front of him hampers his impact. It could be a defensive tool having Sissoko on the right, but in games where Tottenham are expected to control possession, Walker might not appreciate the company. Pochettino has a dilemma where best to play the Frenchman.
The Londoners have enjoyed a bright start to the season, however, with Tottenham Hotspur 5/4 to finish in the top-four of the Premier League this season, but they have a lot of good players fighting for places which could see talented stars forced to miss out. Sissoko has competition in the midfield from a host of players which makes his task harder of getting regular game time.
So where will Moussa Sissoko play for Tottenham Hotspur this season?