The quest to solve Spurs' midfield jigsaw puzzle continues today with the news that Spurs have launched a sizable offer for Newcastle's Moussa Sissoko. The Express has picked up the story as well, only in their version they seem to have combined two separate details from the original report to make the story a little juicier. The original report in Foot Mercato out of France contains the completely separate facts that a) Spurs have made a substantial offer and b) Newcastle supposedly hope to recoup €23m for the player. From there the Express has completely fabricated the fact Spurs have launched a bid in the amount of £18m.
But while the amount may be a total journalistic fever dream, the bid might actually be true. This report comes from Foot Mercato, who have had mixed success with Spurs rumors so far this summer. They got Andre Ayew to Spurs very wrong, but were right on the money with early rumors of Etienne Capoue heading to Watford. This one could go either way, but at least we know they're not totally shooting in the dark here. Also according to the report, Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal are also interested in the 25 year-old. Because of course they are.
(Update: According to the Newcastle Chronicle, Spurs have not made a bid at all. Who knows what's real now).
Assuming the bid is a real thing and Sissoko is a guy we want, what do we think of him?
Moussa Sissoko is a well-rounded box-to-box midfielder with a great engine. At Newcastle these days he often plays as an attacking midfielder or even as a winger. However, in his Toulouse days he played much deeper in a three-man midfield. Of course, even then he had Etienne Capoue doing the real defensive midfielder work behind him.
So is he an answer? It depends on what the question is. If we're looking for a strictly defensive midfield destroyer, probably not. Sissoko's never played as a lone holder before, and despite his all-action style and strong defensive ability and workrate, stripping him of the freedom to bomb forward would really limit his usefulness.
On the other hand, Spurs' rumored interest in James McCarthy and seeming desire to keep Mousa Dembele suggests that Pochettino might be interested in building a true pivot with a pair of players who can both take it in turns to go forward or sit back and protect the back line as needed. If that's the case, then Sissoko just might be a decent option. The added bonus of his versatility playing further forward is also a nice perk.
The price tag, even if it is the Express's made-up £18m, is rather high for a guy who doesn't quite solve our problems. But since McCarthy doesn't either and we're supposedly willing to spend £20m on him, whatever.
But there's one reason that makes this signing a total no-brainer. If we pair him with in the pivot with Dembele, Spurs would boast the Premier League's first-ever Moosefield. You can't beat that.