Moussa Sissoko has hinted that he was hoping to leave Newcastle this past summer in search of Champions League football, but the French international claims the Magpies vetoed his move away, as reported by the Evening Standard.
The 26-year-old has been linked with a move to the Emirates in the past (via the Standard), but a move never materialised. He is a key part of the setup at St James’ Park, so it’s understandable that they don’t want to lose him.
You can only hold onto an unhappy player for so long though, and Sissoko seems determined to secure Champions League football.
“It could have been a good time to leave,” he said.
“There were clubs interested but Newcastle vetoed. They were against my departure so I stayed.
“What I miss is to play leading roles because I would like to play in the Champions League.”
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After having his move away blocked, he sent a message to the “big four”, essentially issuing a come and get me plea for future transfer windows. He is clearly just wanting to ensure he gets regular first team football ahead of the Euro 2016 next summer, but he suggests that after that he will look at his options.
“I am in Newcastle but it is not a ‘Big Four’ club. Look at those who play for France in my position, compared to me, they all play for big clubs,” he said.
“I have ambitions but first I must think about having a good Euro 2016 which I hope to win with France.
“After that, I will have time to reflect on my future.”
Sissoko isn’t the defensive anchor we’ve needed for so long, but he’s arguably the powerful midfielder we’ve lacked. We’ve been crticised for being too lightweight in the past, and Sissoko would certainly go a long way towards remedying that.
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He does tend to go missing occasionally during games, which is certainly an issue, but perhaps Arsene Wenger could get the best out of him.