By Emma Sanders
Mauricio Pochettino has lifted the lid on Moussa Sissoko’s absence from the Tottenham squad against Chelsea on Saturday.
The Spurs manager claimed the £30million summer signing must work harder to secure a first-team spot.
Tottenham suffered a 2-1 defeat against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, with Sissoko omitted from the matchday 18 following a midweek disagreement with Pochettino.
The attacking midfielder criticised Tottenham’s decision to play at Wembley following their Champions League exit and Pochettino responded by telling Sissoko to “do his talking on the pitch.”
Four days later, Sissoko was a surprise omission from the squad for the clash against bitter rivals Chelsea, given that he was available and had been only a late substitute against Monaco on Tuesday.
Argentine Pochettino gave some insight into his thinking by explaining that Sissoko’s transfer fee is irrelevant and that he must work harder in training to be in contention for a first-team spot.
“Football is not about money. It is about you being better, and that you show on the training ground that you are better than another teammate and that you deserve to be involved or not,” said Pochettino, as quoted by the Mirror.
“You sign a player and then you expect something, and you don’t find what you expected. Of course [Sissoko needs to learn.] He needs to work hard and to show in future that he deserves to be on the team.
“If another deserved to be involved, like maybe Josh Onomah or maybe Janssen. Why, because we pay money, do they deserve to play?”
The 27-year-old has failed to bring a spark to the club since joining from Newcastle in the summer and has not yet landed a regular position in the starting XI.
In total, he’s made just 10 appearances since his arrival and only four starts in the Premier League. Sissoko is still yet to score a goal for Tottenham.
The Frenchman was impressive during the European Championships and featured in every match for his country in the tournament, including the final defeat against Portugal.
He made 39 total appearances for Newcastle in his final season and was a key member of the team, despite his lack of productivity in front of goal, but has been unimpressive since making the switch to Spurs.
In other Tottenham news, Harry Kane reveals what the defeat against Chelsea meant to him.