By Noel Whelan

17th Jun, 2019 | 2:00pm

'He was diabolical' - Pundit stunned by Spurs player transformation, tips him to 'Smash' 19/20


Moussa Sissoko was transformed virtually overnight from “diabolical” to bona fide Champions League star and his rise will continue next season, according to Noel Whelan.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the ex-Leeds United and Coventry City striker tipped the midfield colossus to “smash it” in the Premier League and Europe next season after nailing down a starting place at Spurs.

Sissoko began last season as a fringe player in Mauricio Pochettino’s side following two wretched seasons at the club but ended 2018-19 as one of the best players in his position in the country.

“I was amazed at how he changed,” Whelan told Football Insider. “He was diabolical for two seasons and you think, ‘there’s no way he will stay at Tottenham’, but then he changed almost overnight into the team’s best player.

“You don’t see that very often at the elite level. No-one would have expected Sissoko to be the player of the season, and to turn into a world beater.

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“He obviously has a strong mentality and the character to show people what he can do. I don’t see any reason why he can’t smash it against next season and be the star man, even if they sign four or five top players, as seems possible.

“He is so powerful and difficult to knock off the ball, Pochettino will want him in his side.”

Sissoko was a mainstay in a Spurs midfield that was ravaged by serious injuries last season to the likes of Harry Winks, Eric Dier, Victor Wanyama and Mousa Dembele, before his January move to China.

The £30million summer-of-2016 signing from Newcastle United turns 30 in August, and has two years remaining on his Tottenham contract.

In other Spurs news, it can be REVEALED that the club have pulled out of the race to sign a brilliant midfielder.