Moussa Sissoko’s performances for France at Euro 2016 were the very reason that a player who underperformed at club level last season, ended up being transferred for £30m.
The energy, power and directness of Sissoko, was a major weapon for France at their home tournament, as they reached the final of the competition before being beaten by Portugal.
Last night France and Sissoko were back in action in their opening World Cup qualifier, but could only draw 0-0 at Belarus.
It was an overall lacklustre performance by the team, yet Sissoko in particular looked poor. L’Equipe gave their player ratings after the match and Tottenham’s new signing was singled out for criticism.
Scoring a four out of ten – only Layvin Kurzawa and Olivier Giroud did as badly – L’Equipe bemoaned Sissoko’s lack of pace on the right-flank, though they did concede that he lacks match fitness after making a late move.
With Erik Lamela a doubt for the trip to Stoke as he is not expected back in London from Argentina until Thursday, many expected Sissoko to replace him.
This performance against Belarus raises some doubts as to whether he’s quite ready for Mauricio Pochettino’s fitness-reliant style of play. Would a fatigued Lamela, or Heung-Min Son – match fit after the Olympics – be a better bet?