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Pochettino: ‘More than happy’ to keep Moussa Sissoko after lack of transfer offers

Posted: September 29, 2017 at 1:54 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino has found in Moussa Sissoko a midfielder who can contribute and start matches, but admitted the club would have lost the 28-year-old during the summer window if not for a lack of transfer offers.

“The player was the first (to be) interested to move or to leave because he wanted to play more in a season that has the World Cup at the end. But I think maybe that possibility didn’t exist and I was more than happy for him to stay and to give him the possibility to play,” Pochettino said, according to David Hynter of the Guardian.

Following a then club-record £30-million move from Newcastle in 2016, Sissoko struggled to find his feet at Tottenham, calling his first season the “worst” of his career. It’s why he, the club, and Pochettino himself were willing to part ways last summer. But to everyone’s benefit, no offers came through.

“He didn’t play too much last season or not as much as he wanted and, always, the player is looking to move, to try to feel better and try to be important, maybe at another club. And, always, the club is sensitive in every single situation. But, in the end, when we decided to keep him and he decided to stay with us, it’s about moving on and seeing if he deserves to have the possibility to play,” Pochettino said.

This season, the France international has emerged as a strong option in the right-hand side of a three-man midfield core in Pochettino’s 3-5-2 formation, fitting into the role left open by Mousa Dembele‘s ankle injury. Having added a touch of calm and composure to his movement and simplifying his passes, Sissoko has earned four starts in six Premier League matches, and is expected to start again on Saturday against Huddersfield Town.

“He has improved his self-belief and that is so important. When you arrive in a new club and you don’t play too much and you struggle to understand why, it is normal that your self-belief starts to go down. It is so difficult to recover from that. But today, we are so happy and he is happy that he is doing well.”



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