France’s best player on the night they lost the European Championship final to Portugal was not Antoine Griezmann or Dimitri Payet, but Moussa Sissoko.
The marauding midfielder was Les Bleus’ biggest threat in regulation time, with his powerful runs from deep appearing their only means of smashing a path through the opposition’s ironclad defence for large parts.
It was a performance far removed from those which Newcastle United fans had grown accustomed to seeing from the 26-year-old towards to the end of the previous campaign.
Sissoko was widely criticised for his lacklustre, uncommitted efforts as the Magpies sunk ever closer to the Championship in the latter stages of 2015/16, a season that culminated in their relegation.
A common critique of the Frenchman is how his questionable attitude and desire undermines his mountain of talent, which is far too often only showcased on the most prestigious of stages.
Even if Newcastle had dodged demotion last season, Sissoko would’ve been angling for a move away from Tyneside, as he seems to have been almost ever since he signed. Following their relegation, it’s almost certain he’ll leave and his standout display in the Euro 2016 showpiece will have won him yet more admirers.
It is alleged Liverpool are among the interested parties, while Arsenal have regularly been linked with bids for the former Toulouse star in the past.
Assuming a decent deal can be brokered, it’s difficult to imagine great discontent on the St James’ Park terraces if the Frenchman left. Similarly, whoever takes him off their hands will be warned of the caustic effect his poor mentality could have on dressing room harmony.
But a silverware-chasing outfit would be the ideal place for a player with an uncanny ability to deliver in glamour games to harness has considerable talent.
Say he signed for Arsenal, for instance, he’d be a Champions League regular with multiple London derbies and meetings with Premier League title challengers to look forward to across the year.
Liverpool aren’t a shabby alternative either, reaching two major cup finals in the short time Jurgen Klopp has been at the helm.
Having a player on board with a tendency to produce when the pressure is at its highest better suits a club competing for trophies, not one aiming solely for survival, which is why Sissoko would be a great signing for either mooted suitor.