The transfer deadline day drama that brought Moussa Sissoko to Tottenham over Everton was a lot of fun to experience in real time. But what was it that convinced Sissoko to turn down what looked like a sure deal with Everton to sign with Spurs? Tottenham’s newest signing said it came down to Tottenham skipper and French national team captain Hugo Lloris.
“[Hugo’s] a good friend for me,” Moussa explained. “When we are with the national team we speak a lot, we laugh a lot. He’s a great player and when he spoke to me about this club he told me that it’s amazing and everything is here for me to play some good games and to fight with the best teams in England. Today I’m happy and he’s happy because we will play together in the Premier League.”
So this makes a lot of sense. I’m sure Hugo was bending the ears of all kinds of his French teammates while he was on international duty in this summer’s Euros. It’s not surprising at all that Lloris and Sissoko are close friends, and having a good friend on your club team can make a difference, all other things being equal.
Obviously things WEREN’T otherwise equal, though, since Sissoko also said that playing in the Champions League (as opposed to the Championship) was a big factor in his decision.
“I am in the prime of my career and I want to play for a big team, I have the chance now with Tottenham so I’m looking forward and I hope we will do well in the Premier League and in the Champions League also. I’ve said a lot of times that I want to play in the Champions League so that’s one of the reasons why I came here – to have the possibility and the chance to play this year.
Nevertheless, Hugo’s influence sounds like a perfectly reasonable partial explanation as to why Sissoko would turn off his phone and leave a private Everton jet idling on an airport runway while he finalized the best gazumping in years. I wonder if Hugo will get the same reaction from the Everton fans as Sissoko will when they play next.