Former Tottenham midfielder Moussa Sissoko has revealed how he wanted to quit the club after just six months in north London and even told Daniel Levy of his desire to leave.
The France international ended five years at Spurs in the summer of 2021 after establishing that he would struggle for game time under then boss Nuno Espirito Santo.
Sissoko ended up at Watford but was unable to save the Hornets from relegation and was soon on the move again.
The 33-year-old is now plying his trade at Ligue 1 side Nantes, who are also in the Europa League.
However, Sissoko has been reminiscing over his time in north London and how things nearly turned out very differently.
Asked about his early time at Tottenham, having joined in 2016, Sissoko said: “I know very well that in football, there’s competition. It makes you progress, get better. It was very difficult because I wasn’t playing that much. I didn’t have a lot of game time, so it was hard mentally.
“Few people know this, but after the first six months, I went to see the chairman and I told him I wanted to leave because my game time was really limited and it wasn’t what I wanted. He spoke to me, told me there’s a need for time to adapt. And once I had calmed down, I asked myself the right questions.
“Was I doing everything to be better than the others? Maybe yes, maybe no. Beyond that, it can also be the manager’s decision. But also, I arrived in a group that was already performing.”
Sissoko then revealed that he understood what he had to make things work and that when his chance came, to not ‘let it go’.
Sissoko guilty of being too versatile
He eventually went on to become a regular starter for Tottenham and made over 200 appearances for the club. He also chalked five golas, which was never his strong suit, and 17 assists in that time.
Sissoko arrived at Tottenham having often dominated against them playing for Newcastle in a central midfield role.
However, he was often played out wide under Mauricio Pochettino and sometimes ended up at right-back.
It was no great surprise that his best spell at the club came when he was given an extended run in Pochettino’s engine room.
The problem was that whenever a wide player was absent, Sissoko often filled. That then found him back at square one again.
There was also a lack of creativity to his game for a player who was described as box-to-box. Indeed, quite often he would do the ‘getting from one box to the other’ thing really well but then ended up not quite knowing what to do next.
As an athlete though he was exceptional, but there’s more to the game than just that.
However, given his lack of quality on the ball, Sissoko has certainly carved out an excellent career for himself.
Winning a remarkable 71 caps for his country is also no mean feat. Especially when you consider some of the midfielders France could call on since he made his debut in 2009.