Newcastle United are looking for ways to reinforce this month, and one potential transfer may have presented itself on a plate in the form of Moussa Sissoko.
According to The Daily Mail, Newcastle have been hovering around since December contemplating a bid.
The Toulouse central midfield enforcer has been made available this winter, as per Matt Spiro:
Toulouse confirm Moussa Sissoko can leave for €3.5m (contract up in summer). Hasn't lived up to 'new Essien' tag, but that's a real bargain
— Matt Spiro (@mattspiro) January 10, 2013
So which lucky club will be getting for a measly sum of money?
Sissoko has been around for a while now, and as Spiro rightly suggests, he never quite lived up to the hype. Perhaps part of that was the pressure, or le Tefece's reluctance to lose him during his prime growth years.
He was once thought of as a holding midfielder, but lately he's turning out as a far more attack-minded player. Etienne Capoue has the holding role in manager Alain Casanova's curious 4-1-4-1 formation.
With Capoue, a fierce tackler and interception magnet, Casanova is right to play the 24-year-old in the deepest midfield position and allow Sissoko to roam forward.
In essence, he's a prototypical modern footballer. If you're looking for a cheap version of Kwadwo Asamoah, you've got one right here in Sissoko.
He's technically less refined, but he uses his bulk and power well to provide a vertical threat for his team. This hustle and bustle style is becoming ever more important, and clubs could be looking at the very next Mohamed Diame to slip through their fingers.
He shares a midfield with Etienne Didot, whose ambitious right peg is constantly searching the marauding runs of his compatriot—Sissoko will go through the middle or down the touchline with regularity: He simply loves to stretch his legs.
There's definitely work for the player to do on his own game, and the first priority should be to tame his own sizable frame. He puts himself about, but the end product is lacking at times.
A prime example of his weakness in this area was in Toulouse's 2-0 win over FC Sochaux in December—his maurading run stretched the defence, he beat his marker and cut inside, only to gift the opposition the ball when an easy square pass would have seen Adrien Regettin in with a scoring chance.
At €3.5 million, this transfer—for any club—would represent a complete and utter steal.
The similarities to Diame are remarkable, and while Sissoko is not quite so refined or in control of his physical beast-like frame, he's still only 23. He would make the perfect box-to-box midfielder in the English Premier League, and there should be a whole host of clubs bartering for his services.