Tottenham’s disappointing run in the Premier League continued after a 2-1 loss against Chelsea on Sunday. It was a game that promised so much early on for Spurs, who saw the home team comeback once the exertions of the midweek Champions League game against Monaco came into play. Manager Mauricio Pochettino brought in midfielder Mousa Sissoko as a second-half substitute, but it had little improvement in the overall play. Despite being the club’s record signing, Sissoko has had very little game time.
When asked about the former Newcastle United midfielder not featuring much in the first team, Pochettino was quite angry in his response. He claimed that just because a club pays a lot of money for a player does not mean that he should start every game. Pochettino said:
“Football is not a matter of money, but every player must always prove to be better than his teammates.
“I think that whoever was involved against Chelsea last weekend deserved to take part to the game. Sissoko must work hard and prove to deserve to be part of this squad.”
The statements are seen as a direct reference to the manager being unhappy with the player’s performance. Apart from reportedly causing a lot of rift in the squad with his £95,000 per week wages, the 27-year-old is yet to score a goal or assist in more than 300 minutes of Premier League football for Spurs. It has intensified rumours that Sissoko could be set for a swift departure from White Hart Lane. And Express Sports has reported that Everton, who were interested in his services back in the summer, are prepared to renew the interest once again.
Sissoko turned down a move to Everton as Spurs would be able to provide him with Champions League football on a more consistent basis. Now with his first team opportunities looking bleak, the club’s record signing may have to turn elsewhere.
In the past, several clubs have struggled with their record signings not being able to live up to the expectations. However, the transfer fee alone forces these clubs to try every possible trick in the book in order to make the signing successful. Fernando Torres would be a great example, as Chelsea went through several managers and formations just so that the Spaniard would be a hit at Stamford Bridge. Of course, it was never the case; Spurs do not seem to be repeating the mistake with Sissoko even though it is still early days.
Pochettino has strongly hinted that the transfer fee will not be a basis for selection in the first team. Sissoko will have to significantly step up his performances, as it is probably the best way to get himself settled with the North London club.
A run of one win in the last six league matches has put the club four points behind Arsenal, who are in the fourth spot.