Whatever happened to Gini Wijnaldum and Moussa Sissoko?
How we used to laugh when Moussa Sissoko used to talk about wanting to play for a Champions League club.
It was also annoying of course, totally disrespecting the fans and club, contracted to Newcastle United but repeatedly saying how he wanted to leave.
Mostly it was amusing though, a bit like one of yours saying they are going to be an astronaut when they grow up.
In the days before he finally got to leave Newcastle United, Moussa Sissoko hilariously believed a rumour that Real Madrid were going to sign him (see below).
In August 2016 the midfielder declaring: ‘I hope Real Madrid will come for me, I’m still waiting…If Real Madrid are interested in you then of course you will be happy.’
The joke got even better when Tottenham hilariously paid £30m for Moussa Sissoko in the final hours of that summer 2016 transfer window. Madness.
Moussa Sissoko had got his move but it was Tottenham not Real Madrid.
Sure enough, Tottenham quickly realised what they had bought. Sissoko getting only eight Premier League starts and one in the Champions League in his first season.
After failing to offload him, Spurs gave the former Newcastle player 15 PL starts and three CL starts, but he was very much on the fringes.
Watching last night, Moussa Sissoko is now not only a regular for Tottenham, he is a key player.
Apart from Lucas Moura I thought he was their best player in the fightback against Ajax to reach the final.
This season he has featured in 28 PL games and been named on the bench only three times, nine appearances in the CL, including seven starts.
To top it off, Moussa Sissoko is even going to Madrid! Although the CL final is being held at the home of Atletico, rather than Real, Madrid.
Sissoko will face another rat who jumped the sinking relegation ship in 2016, Gini Wijnaldum scoring twice against Barcelona on Tuesday night.
The thing is, who could blame them?
Even the other two who demanded moves,, Daryl Janmaat and Andros Townsend, can you say even they they have made a longer-term mistake?
Daryl Janmaat has made four FA Cup appearances this season (no Newcastle player can say that in any of the 12 Mike Ashley years!) and is going to Wembley for the final against Man City. Decent investment in their squad means they could come to St James Park and still beat Newcastle, despite making 11 changes, whilst Rafa Benitez simply had to concentrate on a relegation battle. Watford have also had some real highs in the Premier League this season and despite gates of 20,000, are in 10th place.
As for Andros Townsend, he and Crystal Palace are now guaranteed to finish above Newcastle now. This summer, along with every normal club, Palace will be doing everything they can to improve their squad.
Can you honestly say that Newcastle is even more attractive than Palace now? It certainly isn’t if your owner is going to refuse to allow a cash bid for your best player simply because of his age, as well as doing nothing to try and keep the excellent manager who has kept the club/team afloat despite zero net investment in players these past three years Rafa has been at the club.
I can’t pretend I can wish Moussa Sissoko well, or Gini Wijnaldum for that matter, but I can’t blame them for walking away from Mike Ashley’s Newcastle United.
Moussa Sissoko speaking to the BBC World Service – 11 August 2016:
“I hope Real Madrid will come for me, I’m still waiting…
“If Real Madrid are interested in you then of course you will be happy, but right now I am still a Newcastle player.
“I spent three and a half years here. I gave everything for this club and I want to play some big games. For that I need to go somewhere else.
“I want to play in the Premier League, I want to play for a big club who can get into the Champions League. That is why I said I want to leave this year.
“I have spent a lot of time here and now it’s time to look forward. The fans need to understand my situation, I hope they will and that everything will be OK.”
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