Chelsea and Liverpool have reportedly joined Arsenal in the race to sign the wantaway Newcastle United midfielder following the Magpies’ relegation to England’s second division.
French midfielder Moussa Sissoko is attracting the interest of Premier League giants Chelsea and Liverpool according to French newspaper L’Equipe (via Daily Express). The Blues’ city rivals Arsenal are also reportedly interested in the 26-year-old, but will now face stiff competition from their domestic rivals to lure him away from Championship side Newcastle United. It is understood that his current owners are looking for a sum in the region of £20 million for the player.
Playing in England’s second division is certainly not likely to appeal to Sissoko, who aspires to play for a top side. In a recent interview with Foot Mercato he spoke about his desire to play at a higher level and showed an interest in joining forces with Arsene Wenger at the Emirates. “I gave everything there for three-and-a-half years,” said Sissoko. “I hope that today [Newcastle] will be smart enough to understand that to continue my development I need to keep playing at the highest level.
“As I want to stay in the France team I could not stay in the Championship. There will be discussions. I hope they will go in my opinion. I want to leave.”
Is Sissoko worth his asking rate and where will he fit in?
Moussa Sissoko was undoubtedly one of the brighter sparks in what was a dull season for Newcaslte, which eventually saw them get relegated from England’s top tier. In his 37 appearances, the midfielder scored once and assisted seven times, picking up four Man of the Match awards (via WhoScored). Although he played most of the season as a winger, he is predominantly a central midfielder.
At Chelsea, the Frenchman would find it difficult to get into the starting lineup. New Chelsea boss Antonio Conte will expect a great deal from his deep-lying midfielders and given the players the Blues possess in their ranks, a move for the Newcastle player makes very little sense.
However, in a team like Liverpool, Sissoko could be given certain responsibilities to dictate terms in the middle of the park. With Lucas nearing the end of his career and Jordan Henderson struggling with injuries, Sissoko could well be a decent buy. However, Jurgen Klopp might hesitate to pay £20 million for a player who has consistent lapses in form.
For Arsenal, with the arrivals of Granit Xhaka and Mohamed Elneny in 2016, playing the Frenchman in the middle of the park makes little sense. Wenger may consider deploying Sissoko on the wing, but he knows that the 26-year-old is not the fastest and wouldn’t be an immediate upgrade on Aaron Ramsey. Also, with Alex Iwobi capable of playing out wide, Sissoko may find himself warming the bench at the Emirates.