Tottenham Hotspur has completed the signing of Newcastle’s Moussa Sissoko for a fee believed to be £50million.
Mauricio Pochettino’s side hijacked Everton’s move for the France international and the 27-year-old tweeted confirmation that he was on his way to White Hart Lane.
He put in some quality performances at Euro 2016 as France reached the final and he will hope to take that form into life as a Tottenham player.
While Spurs fans are likely to be pretty happy with their summer business, they may have overlooked one tiny fact… That Sissoko has been pining after a move to Arsenal for the last two years.
So here are some classic quotes from Sissoko about how much he wanted to join Spurs’ bitter rivals Arsenal:
I love Arsenal
“When I was young, Arsenal was my favourite club… my idol was Patrick Vieira,” Sissoko said in 2014 in an interview with L’Equipe.
“I’ve always loved this club, I still love them”
My heart was Arsenal
“Everyone knows, I have often said when I was young, my heart was Arsenal, because there were a lot of French players there,” he added in 2016.
The beautiful Arsenal
“The beautiful Arsenal,” he admitted earlier this year.
“We’ll see. I can’t tell you that I will go to Arsenal.
“For now, I’m focused on France and the Euros.”
Sissoko may not be an obvious Pochettino player, given the worries about his application and consistency.
But he proved at Euro 2016 that he can rise to the occasion, and it may well be that in a better environment, with a better coach and team-mates, that he would deliver more often.
It takes some time to learn exactly what Pochettino demands, with and without the ball, and no-one can expect Sissoko to settle in at White Hart Lane instantly. Even for that money.
But when Sissoko does adjust to the unique requirements of Pochettino football, he will give Spurs pace and power down the right that they have lacked.
Opponents will be less willing to squeeze up, knowing that Sissoko can break through their defence. This, in turn, will make more space for Eriksen and Lamela to create in. Spurs play the game fast, but they still needed one more fast player.
They have spent a record fee on Sissoko, and Pochettino hopes that their jigsaw is now complete.