A month ago, I came across a statistic I could not ignore. In terms of key passes made in the Premier League, alongside the expected names of Eden Hazard, David Silva, Mesut Ozil and Luis Suarez, there was Newcastle United's Moussa Sissoko.
At the time, he had made 54 such passes in 24 appearances, a figure that saw him ahead of Suarez and just one behind Ozil.
Four weeks later and Sissoko has dropped to fifth when it comes to that particular stat, but Magpies fans are unlikely to be concerned with that slight fall, given that he has gone from potential-provider to goal-scorer.
The 24-year-old French midfielder may well have been wondering what he needed to do to inspire a goal for his team, given that despite making 62 passes that led to a goal-scoring opportunity to date, he actually only has five assists. In short, while he was doing his bit, those ahead of him were not always following his lead.
|David Silva||Man City||67||17||1,431|
While the majority of the headlines after the match between Newcastle and Hull City on Saturday were about an incident that occurred off the field (or at least at the side of it), Sissoko's brace played a huge part in a big three points for Alan Pardew's men.
Prior to that double, Sissoko had netted just once all season, in a 2-1 win over West Bromwich Albion back in November. But now it appears he is not just a provider of key passes, but he is also adept at finishing himself.
It is something Newcastle's goal-getters should pay attention to, and hopefully they will find the net next time Sissoko invites them to do so.
image: © machernucha