Should we sell Sissoko in January?
Sissoko to go in January?
When we were in the period where it was clear Sissoko was a target, I was desperately disappointed; for that sort of money I wanted Zaha, a player who I believed had all that we lacked and would only get better; he was younger and offered greater future value and a player I believed (and still believe) could be the difference between winning the Premier League and being close competitors, and to add to that, I believed he was a realistic achievable target.
The player could probably be convinced that we were a big step up, we could afford the fee and significantly improve his salary without breaking our wage structure. To me, he looked like he`d fit right in. Coming to Tottenham would represent genuine new progress in his stalled career after his failure to settle or impress under Fergie at Man united.
We supposedly made one half hearted £15 mill bid.
The Crystal Palace chairman perhaps with some justification went into public apoplexy and we never apparently followed up our interest with a more determined dare I say it, realistic bid. I still cannot for the life of me understand why, but you must assume the scouts, the club, the manager knew something I did not.
He was and is one of the brightest prospects in the Premier league and annoyingly after we didn`t pursue our interest, (as I predicted he would), he simply went from strength to strength.
Depending on who you want to believe, we ended up buying Sissoko at somewhere between £18 mill plus add-ons (that might eventually) add up to what seemed to me, an incredulous £30 mill.
As it currently stands, I would be surprised if the final number we pay the Barcodes is anything like that, but as ever the numbers are as transparent as mud, so we may never know the truth of it. How much is important, fans and posters opinions seem to intensify or lessen depending on how much the club paid.
His first season helped pour fuel on the fire of doubters like me, a fire that has been burning on various threads in our forum ever since; there were a few of us who were almost distraught at buying him and everytime he got some minutes it seemed to reaffirm our opinion of him; I questioned Pochettino`s sanity for signing off on him in the first place, but I also believed he had to be better than we were seeing.
My Barcode loving mates, had laughed long and loud when we bought him, and in his first season I would regulary receive various mocking messages everytime he played. I cannot pretend, that hurt, a lot.
lately the mocking has slowed to a crawl. Most would repeat that this was the first time that Levy had literally taken leave of his senses and Tottenham had been mugged in plain sight.
But the mickey taking landscape is remorselessly changing, after our Real Madrid game, one even messaged me to say that Poch had 'worked his magic on him'!
I can still recall Richmondspur, (one of our more quality insightful posters in the forum) in the lead up to his acquisition who saw him completely differently to me; he saw him as the player to give us what we lacked most.
As I look back at his various posts it's clear he thought he would be; direct, strong, quick, a player who could go past defenders and be solid and able to be tough in the tackle, and with his physical presence would be able to put himself about.
He believed that Poch would get the best out of him and make him a more consistent player (his inconsistency being one of the biggest frustrations the barcode fans manically and repeatedly voiced about him to me).
Since then, it`s fair to say that Richmondspur was as his original cheerleader in the forum (at least in my mind), as disappointed with so many aspects of his application and play as most of us were.
It was telling to me when it emerged after this season had started, that if the right offer had come in, we`d have seriously considered it, as it was, we didn`t/couldn`t and Sissoko got his head down and realised he had a point to prove, if not a career to save.
As this season has unfolded we`ve seen a fitter, stronger, harder working player, although perhaps still lacking the confidence and form to provide the top-class final touch many thought and some still think, he has in him.
In my view he is now making a positive impact, he`s now helped improve the depth of our squad, he is making a difference. He is improving game after game, and I suspect that assuming he now stays injury free that there may yet be more to come, the attributes that Richmondspur promoted and saw in him seem to all be coming to the fore.
I`ve seen enough this season to now believe his contribution can be greater still.
So in the end Richmondspur may well have called it right, even if the evidence is only just emerging.Kudos goes to Richmondspur and those who thought he would make the grade with us.
That said, there is one long term knowledgeable forum poster who remains wholly sceptical; Greavswasthegreatest may yet take some convincing that he`s ever going to be anything more than an expensive make-weight.
It must be said Greavsy is a legend in the forum for his dogged determination to denigrate and question the skills and contribution of Jemain Jenas in the past(and in more recent times, Lamela).
At every opportunity he would get, Greavsy would argue Jenas simply wasn`t good enough, and no matter what he did, he has never once deviated from that opinion.
When you look at our current crop of Central Midfielders he may well have been dead right; put up against them now, he`d probably never get a start.
So as we start the quickly shortening approach to the next window, be under no doubt the agents have all started shaping the transfer battlefield. Scouts, acquisition teams, players agents and clubs are all now busy defining their January targets and options. Lists are being compiled. debates being had behind closed doors, soundings taken.
Buying proven Premier League quality in January is tough and normally commands a sizable premium, especially for the desperate.
So the re-evaluation of Sissoko`s contribution, along with his worth (that now seems to be growing and added to by just about every pundit) is very timely.
Interest and accolades for him are intensifying. I am reliably informed that at least two clubs with money to spend may well retest our resolve come January.
So what will Poch do now, will he stick or twist and use the money to go all out for a game changer like Zaha (although I think we wouldn`t prise him away now) or another you think maybe like him?
Watching another Man Utd discard last night, Memphis Depay struck me as another of my one time players to watch as another possibility, but as yet still looks like his potential has yet to be realised; which just might make him almost perfect as Pochs next project…