Why Newcastle can’t afford to let him go

If there’s one thing Newcastle United have got do in January, it’s keep hold of their star man Moussa Sissoko. Reports in the Daily Mail have linked the Frenchman to a move to the Emirates, with the player confessing Arsenal are ‘the club of my heart’.

Sissoko made the move to St James’ Park in January 2013, from French side Toulouse for an undisclosed fee. The French international has quickly turned himself into one of the Premier League’s best midfielders and a Newcastle fan favourite. During his time in England, he’s been described as a box-to-box midfielder, who doesn’t shy away from a tackle and has the eye for the odd goal or two.

Since arriving at Newcastle, Sissoko has become one of the Magpies’ most consistent performers. After showing glimpses of quality in his first year and a half with the North East club, the dominant midfielder has really come of age this season. He has caught the eye with some standout performances and his quality would benefit any of the Premier League’s elite. Despite only netting two league goals so far this term, Sissoko’s form is a real reason of why Newcastle are looking upwards rather than over their shoulders.

The Frenchman’s strong performances this term have seen him heavily linked with a move away from Tyneside. Newcastle are undoubtedly going through a transitional period at present, with ex-boss Alan Pardew leaving the club to head for Crystal Palace recently, and his former assistant John Carver in charge on a temporary basis. Whoever comes into St James’ Park must persuade the 25-year-old to stay at the club, but that’s obviously easier said than done considering Sissoko has already admitted he’s be interested in a move to the Gunners.

Moussa Sissoko has been a shining light in what has been another turbulent season at St James’ Park. The Magpies have probably been the Premier League’s most unpredictable side this term – a run of no wins in their first seven Premier League outings was followed up with six straight league and cup victories to turn their season right around. Newcastle have only tasted victory once in eight games in all competitions – and since Pardew departed, a 3-3 home draw against lowly Burnley is the best the North-East club have mustered.

Sissoko’s calm head is exactly what the Magpies are in desperate need of at the moment. Despite all the transfer talk surrounding him of late, his performance levels have never dropped, and he remains as vital as ever for Newcastle. The midfielder was excellent in the 2-0 defeat to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge last Saturday – he hit the post with a thunderous drive in the first-half, and his superb showing throughout the game would have only added more fuel to the fire for a potential move away.

Owner Mike Ashley must get Alan Pardew’s replacement in as soon as possible. Whether that will mean Carver getting the job full-time or another man to coming into the hot seat, their first task is to sit Sissoko down and do everything in their power to keep the Toon Army’s main man at St James’ Park.


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