Formerly of Toulouse in Ligue 1, Moussa sealed a transfer deadline day switch from Newcastle United, where he’s operated for the last three-and-a-half years.
Like Hugo, he’s also been a long-term figure in the French national side having made his debut in 2009 – one year after our goalkeeper and skipper.
Speaking about Moussa’s arrival, Hugo, who played against the midfielder in France when he was at OGC Nice and Lyon, is excited by the thought of what his friend and international team-mate can bring to the table at White Hart Lane…
Hugo, what’s your view on Moussa Sissoko?
Hugo Lloris: “I know him very well, we have been together with the national team for a while, I think he’s the kind of player that can help the team to achieve good things and, for sure, he will adapt quickly to our philosophy and our style.”
Tell us about his attributes on the pitch.
Hugo: “I don’t really need to introduce him because we all know his strengths, he is very powerful and I think he is a different profile of player for us, so he will give us another option offensively. The good thing is that he’s played in the Premier League for a while so he knows the competition well and he’s a high-level player because he’s played for the national team too. I think it’s very good for Tottenham that he’s here.”
At 27 years of age, how much can Moussa’s experience help our younger players?
Hugo: “It’s true that our squad is very young and the young players need more experienced players around them. This is my responsibility too. We need to show everyone the right way, the correct way and try to bring everyone in the same direction but it’s quite easy because the spirit is great. You can see the improvement we have made and we’re going to experience the Champions League this season – it will be the first time for most of the team and it will be interesting and exciting to face some of the best teams in Europe. It’s important to show a good image of the club but I think it’s also important to have a mix of players that are young and experienced. Moussa will have this, for sure.”
Tell us about Moussa’s character.
Hugo: “We are all different, we are all characters. It’s true that Moussa seems very quiet as a guy, he’s a nice person, but as I said, the spirit is so great in the squad that it will be easy for him to adapt quickly. Away from the pitch he’s a very quiet guy but he is funny too! When he feels fully adapted you will see his real personality. At the moment he is maybe a bit shy but that’s normal because it’s new for him.”
What did you think of his performances for France at Euro 2016?
Hugo: “Especially in the last two games against Germany and Portugal I think he was one of our best players. Moussa’s spirit is fantastic because he didn’t start at the beginning of the tournament but he finished the competition as a starter. He is very committed, he is always ready to help the team and that’s why he’s an international player. We know him from the Premier League and I know him from Ligue 1 and from the national team – he’s always consistent in his performances and he’s going to bring all his strengths to help the team improve. It’s always a pleasure to spend time with him with the national team and now we can spend more time with each other here so I’m happy about that.”
We’ve signed another strong midfielder in Victor Wanyama this summer. Who would win in an arm-wrestling match between Moussa and Victor?!
Hugo: “That could be very interesting to see but I don’t know! They are both very strong and when you see our team now, of course we have different profiles of players. You can see that we have a lot of strong players and that’s important for the club.”