Rafael Benitez praises Newcastle United 's Moussa Sissoko's performances in training

Moussa Sissoko has been handed Newcastle United's captain's armband in recent weeks.

Newcastle United boss Rafael Benitez has told the Chronicle that Moussa Sissoko has been helping him out on the training ground.

Sissoko has endured an inconsistent season at St. James’ Park, and his form has been criticised by many pundits.

Jermaine Jenas and Ian Wright have both criticised Sissoko’s performances this term, as covered by HITC.

But since Benitez has taken charge the Frenchman has played a key role - even taking the captain’s armband for the last three contests.

“Sissoko is a good example for the other players,” Benitez explained.

“I was not choosing him as a captain because he was running a lot and that’s it, it was because how he was behaving himself in training sessions, he is someone who listens to you and works hard.

“He is good with players and he is helping me with some French players. I can talk a little bit of French but obviously when you want to say something important, he can translate.

“It’s good for the team to see someone who is working so hard in every training session and during the games, playing at this level.

“Hopefully he can keep the level and the others can follow him.”

Sissoko’s attitude has previously been criticised by Newcastle fans, but he seems to have thrived with increased responsibility.

The Magpies have improved considerably in recent weeks, and Sissoko even got on the scoresheet during their 3-0 victory over Swansea City.

Despite his recent improvement, there are still doubts over Sissoko’s future - as reports on the Italian website Calico Mercato have suggested that he has asked his agent to find him a new club in the summer transfer window.

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