Moussa Sissoko could be the next player to leave Tottenham Hotspur for the Middle East after Toby Alderweireld joined Qatari outfit Al-Duhail, according to The Times.
The Belgian sealed a permanent move away from north London on Tuesday for £3m after six years in north London. He made 236 appearances for Spurs after joining from Atletico Madrid and was a key part of the backline that reached the 2019 Champions League final.
Alongside Jan Vertonghen, Alderweireld also helped Tottenham cement their place in the Premier League top-four. Spurs also became title contenders in 2015/16, with Alderweireld helping to 13 clean sheets in 38 appearances.
Sissoko also featured frequently as Tottenham reached the Champions League final in 2019. Mauricio Pochettino signed the Frenchman from Newcastle for £30m after missing out on the Premier League title. And he would be a key player for the Argentine in following years.
But another member of the Spurs side who lost to Liverpool in Madrid could now seek a future elsewhere. Sissoko could follow Alderweireld in leaving Tottenham for the Middle East, despite having two years left on his £80,000-per-week contract.
Sissoko would become the latest sold by Tottenham’s new Managing Director Fabio Paratici in a vast clear out. The former Juventus chief is also trying to find new homes for Davinson Sanchez, Serge Aurier, Harry Winks, Cameron Carter-Vickers and Eric Dier, per The Times.
Lamela, who joined Sevilla as part of Spurs’ deal for Bryan Gil, and Alderweireld were also surplus to requirements. Losing Sissoko would now clear a big chunk off the wage bill for Nuno Espirito Santo to stamp his mark.
Pochettino claimed no Tottenham player was like Sissoko
While Sissoko was a key player under Pochettino, his importance was less evident last season. The 31-year-old only started 15 of his 25 Premier League appearances, including playing just one minute in six games under interim head coach Ryan Mason.
Sissoko could now follow Alderweireld in quitting Tottenham for the Middle East. And doing so would deny Nuno a player Pochettino believed was like no one else in his Spurs squad.
“He has been one of our most important players,” Pochettino said, via talkSPORT, in 2018. “You have to give the credit to him because he is the only player who gives or provides balance in those transitions – offensive to defensive, defensive to offensive – in the team.
“There is no other player in the team who can provide that. This is the best quality he provides to the team.”