Moussa Sissoko was part of that most unlikely French Revolution that occurred in Newcastle in January of 2013, arriving for £2.1m alongside fellow Frenchmen Mathieu Debuchy, Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, Yoan Gouffran, and Massaido Haidara. Despite the massive reinforcements, Newcastle failed to rediscover their success of the previous season, which saw them qualify for the Europa League. In fact, the Magpies have fallen upon rather trying times since then and this season they almost contrived to finish in the relegation zone.
Pardewless and mostly hopeless, the future is anything but bright up in the north. Here's one story that just about sums up the current situation and mood on Tyneside.
Ryan Taylor was released from NUFC by telephone before being told to pass his mobile to Jonas Gutierrez so he could be delivered same news.— Craig Hope (@CraigHope_DM) June 1, 2015
Is it any surprise that other players might be look at that and immediately start planning an exit strategy?
"According to what I am hearing, yes, [Mourinho is following my progress]. He is one of the best managers in the world. He has won so many titles... Any player would love to be coached by this man. For the moment, I am coached by other people (John Carver). If one day I have the chance to work under his guidance, I would be very happy."
That's Sissoko talking to French media (here's the video, in French, obviously) and issuing the please save me from this hell-hole plea to The Special One. Though just last week, he supposedly committed his future to the Magpies. So maybe it's more a passive aggressive plea. Or it's not a plea at all, because who wouldn't love to work with Mourinho?
Whether Mourinho's truly following and listening is up for debate of course, but this is hardly the first time a move away from Newcastle has been mooted for the 25-year-old midfielder. Sissoko had resisted moves away from his previous club as well (Toulouse) before finally agreeing to the Newcastle adventure, so perhaps the time is not quite right yet for him to move again. But unless Newcastle show ambition and a plan for improvement, they will have a very hard time hanging on to their best players.
As far as Chelsea are concerned, Sissoko would certainly fit Mourinho's stated desire to improve the squad through quality depth. Hard working, strong, versatile, the French international can play just about anywhere in central midfield and even be effective out wide, if necessary. Not to mention, he's always played well against us -- especially in the 3-2 win back in 2013, which was just his second game in England -- which basically guarantees that we will sign him at some point, no?