That Moussa Sissoko is widely fancied to win Tottenham’s player of the season award speaks volumes about how far the once ritually lambasted midfielder has come this season, but has Victor Wanyama shown him that another level can still be reached?
Sissoko’s transformation has been as compelling as it has been stunning. Simply put, nobody saw this coming, nobody. In seasons gone by it seemed the France international had no excuse for consistently underperforming in Lilywhite without the fallback of inexperience to explain his abject displays.
But the beginning of the current campaign and a move into central midfield has seen the all-action midfielder become a hub at the heart of Tottenham’s free-flowing system.
The 29-year-old now patrols the centre circle with a swagger and sense of authority which is a mind-boggling far cry from the frightened and nerve-jangling figure who used to strike every ball as if his basic liberties as a human being were at stake.
Yet the transformation does not feel complete.
This is a player who is able to flick on the jets and rapidly switch a canter into a gallop to breeze past his opponent, but one who also fails to fully utilise this skill.
Victor Wanyama, however, making a rare start for Spurs on Saturday, showed Sissoko how to perfectly time a run into the penalty area by striding forward to latch onto a loose ball, bypassing the goalkeeper with ease and tapping the ball into a gaping goal.
If anyone needed to learn a lesson from this moment of undisputed class, it was Sissoko.
The manner in which Wanyama ghosted into the box was (sorry Spurs fans) almost Lampard-esque.
Timing of the run is everything, and that’s an area where Sissoko must improve to utilise every aspect of his footballing repertoire.
For a player with his speed and energy he ought to be running free of his marker and arriving in the box unmarked and ready to find the net, but he seldom finds himself in a goal scoring position.
Wanyama, valued at £22.5 million by Transfermarkt, is hardly famed for his goal scoring prowess or the intelligence of his running into the area but he still managed to showcase that side of his game against the Terriers.
If Sissoko wants to full complete his turnaround and become a truly devastating talent in central midfield, he needs to find tune that side of his game.