Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino has praised midfielder Moussa Sissoko following his recent upturn in form, but what do his comments about the France international really mean?
Well, the Argentine boss was speaking after handing the 29-year-old a fifth consecutive Premier League start – something the Frenchman isn’t used having largely disappointed during his time with the north London club – for the visit to Crystal Palace on Saturday.
According to quotes as reported by The Independent, Pochettino said:
“There are moments and circumstances when you take decisions.
“But football is so dynamic. You need to take decisions in every single moment. But this has not only happened to him. There are many players in football who were close to going and then come in like this.
“But good thing can happen if you are a professional like Moussa and keep pushing and working hard. Sometimes when you feel the pain you keep your head up, keep pushing and keep working hard, that is the only way to get through it.”
Pochettino admitted in September that the only reason Sissoko didn’t leave during the summer transfer window is because there were no offers on the table for him, and earlier in the campaign he would surely have still been looking to offload him again in the New Year.
However, the 46-year-old now hints that the France international is finally turning his Spurs career around, and any potential January exit is surely now off the cards – especially with Mousa Dembele looking increasingly likely to leave then or when his contract expires at the end of the season.
Meanwhile, the quotes may also be bad news for Harry Winks, who despite taking advantage of injuries to Dembele and Eric Dier in recent weeks found himself benched in favour of Sissoko and Victor Wanyama at Selhurst Park.
While he has impressed against Barcelona and Inter Milan in the Champions League, it still appears as though the England international hasn’t yet convinced his club boss that he should be a regular starter, and his 29-year-old teammate’s recent rise plus the imminent return of Dier could leave him out of the XI on a regular basis again.