Moussa Sissoko looked like he could be a world beater when he arrived at Newcastle United.
Newcastle were heading for the Championship and Sissoko’s contract situation meant he cost only a bargain £1.8m from Toulouse.
Some cracking performances in the Europa League including when he almost single-handedly took on Benfica in the Europa League second leg.
However, it was the Premier League survival where Moussa Sissoko repaid the club, he was arguably the player more than any other who retrieved the situation.
In his first six Premier League games at the club, Newcastle won four of them and Sissoko was the star act: Aston Villa, Chelsea, Southampton and Stoke all taken apart, with three goals and non-stop running and influence, it looked like Unied had unearthed a diamond.
Considering before those four wins in six, Newcastle had only won four of their first 23 PL games, it showed just what a turn around had occurred and basically saved United from relegation.
The final games of that season saw Sissoko’s form dip but that was to be expected as that initial surge of adrenaline and effort that was put into saving the team, was bound to see his influence tail off.
Though obviously we eagerly looked forward to see what he could do with the benefit of a summer with his new team-mates.
To be fair, he hit the ground running in that 2013/14 season and scored another three goals but it was what he did for team-mates that caught the eye, he was top of the PL assists for Newcastle with eight.
With Loic Remy and Yohan Cabaye to combine with he looked set to be a top top player, then Cabaye left in January 2014….and it would be difficult to remember a handful of games when we saw anything like what Moussa Sissoko had suggested he was capable of.
It was also of course when we first started hearing about the Champions League ambitions and playing for ‘big’ clubs, though he at least had his international ambitions to fall back on.
Moussa Sissoko became a permanent fixture in the France set-up and was a regular starter, even when left on the bench he invariably was brought on to exert influence in the later stages of games.
The World Cup in Brazil saw the Newcastle midfielder as a key figure, starting two games and off the bench in two others.
From 8 June 2014 to 7 June 2015, Moussa Sissoko started eight internationals for France, despite fading to non-existent club form, he remained a favourite for France and boss Didier Deschamps.
However, since the start of this season when Moussa Sissoko started against Portugal in a 1-0 win on 4 September 2015, he has only started one more international, the 2-1 win in Denmark.
The other six friendlies have also seen the reliance as an impact player off the bench also fade drastically, in those other six games since 4 Sept 2015 he has only contributed another 46 minutes of international action as a substitute.
In the past six months of key internationals in the lead-up to France hosting the Euros, Sissoko has played 32 minutes for his country.
I think it is fair to say that Didier Deschamps is well aware of his Newcastle club form.
Moussa Sissoko has always been seen as a bit of a teacher’s pet for Didier Deschamps, the French media and football public seeing him picked for the squad no matter what.
However, pressure has been building on the French Head Coach as numerous other candidates are pressing their cases.
Many French football fans finding it hard to believe that Kante at Leicester or Payet at West Ham could miss out on the Euros, both players two of the six nominations for PFA player of the year.
Back home, Friday night saw Hatem Ben Arfa make it 18 goals for the season and lifted Nice into third position and a Champions League spot with only three games remaining.
These three all potentially left on the sidelines as Moussa Sissoko contributes next to nothing as Newcastle slide into the Championship.
Whether he has belatedly realised that you do have to actually do something in between international matches to deserve your place, or if it is Didier Deschamps who has given him a massive kick up the backside….
Clearly recent games have seen a totally different Moussa Sissoko from the past couple of years.
I predict Moussa Sissoko will be one of the best Newcastle players in these next four matches and could possibly even save us from relegation as he did in 2012/13.
That could/would then almost certainly lead to the midfielder retaining his place in the French squad and then securing his move to a club more fitting to his ‘abilities’.
I just hope it is not too little too late.