One of the more dramatic transfer deadline day deals saw Tottenham Hotspur fend off Everton’s overtures to land £30m Moussa Sissoko.
The sizeable sum made Sissoko Spurs’ record buy, though well-documented attitude issues will have tinged some fans’ elation with a hint of dread.
After all, the Lilywhites have had terrible luck with record buys in recent seasons; Paulinho, Roberto Soldado and Erik Lamela all held the title for a short period of time ahead of the 2013/14 campaign.
It was only the latter who delivered any kind of return on the investment, though Spurs had to wait over two seasons to see it and with Sissoko often lamented by fans of former club Newcastle United for failing to produce the goods in the less-glamorous games, those feeling apprehensive about the deal are not without justification.
To underline the point Toon fans had been making for the bulk of the Frenchman’s three-and-a-half-year stint in England, the 27-year-old outshone all of his international colleagues in the Euro 2016 showpiece against Portugal, having occupied the subs’ bench for all bar one of Les Blues’ pre-quarter final matches.
Assuming Sissoko can’t shift his apathy for games against the West Bromwich Albion’s and Bournemouth’s of this world, he is sure to frustrate the Tottenham faithful, but his ability to make the magic happen in the blockbuster games will render this buy a brilliant one.
Mauricio Pochettino has fixed several long-standing problems at Spurs in his relatively short time in charge, but judging from last season’s results, beating fellow big fish remains an issue.
Wins at home and away against Manchester City are obvious exceptions, as was their 3-0 trouncing of Manchester United at the Lane. These, however, were their only league victories posted against their traditional top-four rivals and champions Leicester City.
Given the increased intensity of competition in the top tier, if Spurs are to renew their Champions League ticket this term, they’ll need to take maximum points from a few more competitors and Sissoko is the ideal acquisition to help them in this endeavour.