I liked Moussa Sissoko during his time on Newcastle. His attitude? Not so much. If he had decided to show his class week-in and week-out, he could have made Newcastle United a much more competitive club. Sadly, he failed to do that, and only showed his ability on occasion, leading to fans and even management wanting to move the player elsewhere. He eventually got his move to Tottenham Hotspur for over £30m thanks to his performance for France in the 2016 Euros.
Georgino Wijnaldum is a similar story. Had Newcastle not been relegated in his first season with the club, we would never have sold Liverpool’s current lynchpin. He was the club’s top goalscorer in his one season with the club, but there was always something that made me question his commitment to the club. The player, who always had top Premier League ability decided to move away from Newcastle to remain in the top flight of English football.
Both players have done really well for their clubs. For a while, it seemed as if Sissoko’s time with Tottenham was over after he had failed to make an impression early on. However, in his second season with the Spurs, that all changed. He’s been a serious part of the team’s current success.
It’s crazy to imagine just what Rafa Benitez could have achieved if these two had remained Newcastle players. Them along with the current slate of talent seems unfathomable at this point. Both players were recognized as quality talents during their time with Newcastle United, and it’s unfortunate that the disastrous era of Steve McClaren had to make it impossible to keep them both.
To add insult to injury, the talent we got in return was nothing compared to the talent lost. Both players deserve to be where they’ve gotten, and it’ll be awesome knowing that they both have reached their destination. The Champions League final.