By Richard Parks
France manager Didier Deschamps has heaped praise on Moussa Sissoko and insisted the Tottenham fans scapegoat is “feared” by opponents.
The midfielder has struggled to win over Spurs supporters since joining from Newcastle United for £30million in the summer of 2016.
He had a wretched debut campaign and, although he has fared better and been a more regular player this season, Mauricio Pochettino clearly doesn’t regard him as a member of his best starting XI.
Nevertheless, Deschamps has a high opinion of the 53-times international and hailed his battling qualities.
“Moussa, he is the prototype of a soldier, ” said Deschamps, in an interview with French broadcaster SFR Sport. “He was the soldier of [former coach Alain] Casanova at Toulouse, he is Pochettino’s solider at Tottenham, even if it was more complicated at the start.
“One just has to look at the Euro final to see what Moussa Sissoko is capable of.
“He does not complain, whether he starts the match or comes on after two minutes, ten minutes, twenty minutes, he gets into the match.
“He gives, he gives, he is very appreciated by his team-mates and feared by his adversaries.”
The 28-year-old has featured 36 times across all competitions for Spurs this season, including 21 starts, scoring two goals and supplying four assists.
Football Insider verdict:
Deschamps might very well be right when he claims Sissoko is admired by teammates and opponents, but that respect does not extend to most of the Tottenham fanbase. One only need check social media posts in the aftermath of Spurs matches to see the fairly low esteem in which the midfielder is held. Among the many criticisms is that he does not impact games the way he should and offers little penetration in the opposition third. Sissoko is always one of the major scapegoats if Tottenham fail to secure a victory.
In other Tottenham news, it can be exclusively revealed that a centre-back has agreed contract terms with Spurs.