Why Moussa Sissoko Is the Man to Save Aston Villa's Season

Sam TigheWorld Football Tactics Lead WriterJanuary 16, 2013

PARIS, FRANCE - OCTOBER 12:  Yuto Nagatomo of Japan battles with Moussa Sissoko of France during the International Friendly match between France and Japan at Stade de France on October 12, 2012 in Paris, France.  (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Julian Finney/Getty Images

According to The Metro, Aston Villa are taking a look at Toulouse midfielder Moussa Sissoko in an effort to shore up their roster.

The French midfielder has entered the final six months of his contract and is available this month for a paltry sum of money. Many clubs will be interested in a January bargain deal of this nature.

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

This is the kind of signing that could play a huge part in Villa's fight against relegation.

My scouting report on Sissoko earlier this week gives you all the information you need, and the strengths and tendencies highlighted are something Paul Lambert could really use.

The Metro's labeling of the Frenchman being club captain Stiliyan Petrov's replacement is inaccurate—they're entirely different players in almost every single way.

But that's lucky, because replacing Petrov's assets in midfield are not the way to transform this side's fortunes. The metronome-esque role that the Bulgarian played has been taken by the impressive young recruit Ashley Westwood, and while he doesn't lead the league in interceptions like his captain once did, he's doing a fine job.

What Villa lack is a little bit of vertical mobility in midfield. Brett Holman tries to provide that, but his transition from the wing hasn't yielded the required results (other than the odd golazo), while Barry Bannan and Karim El Ahmadi are not physically superior.

Fabian Delph could be that player, but tenacity only goes so far. You need bulk.

The precedent has been set with the top-tier clubs—mobility and energy in midfield gives you the chance to drag yourselves 15, 20 or even 30 yards up the pitch with one powerful run.

Juventus use Arturo Vidal and Claudio Marchisio, West Ham use Mohamed Diame. Aston Villa need to find the powerhouse midfield that can force matters for them, and that could well be Sissoko at such a cheap price.

The Toulouse powerhouse would bring an energetic box-to-box threat to Villa's midfield, and his hard work and lung-busting runs make it easier for the players around him to play.

Many will point to Villa's goals-conceded record and suggest defensive reinforcements, but with Richard Dunne back in training and Ron Vlaar on the bench for the loss to Southampton, things could look a lot rosier in that position within two weeks.

Lambert will stick with his two young full-backs Joe Bennett and Matthew Lowton, while N'Zogbia's return to fitness is very positive with regard to the wings.

If there's one position a pivotal signing could be made, it's central midfield: Sissoko could be that signing.