Tottenham Hotspur boss Mauricio Pochettino has showered praise on French midfielder Moussa Sissoko after Spurs reached the knock out stages of the Champions League on Tuesday night.
Sissoko joined Spurs in 2016 from Newcastle United on a big money move, but has often struggled to win over the fans. Last season, he featured more regularly for Spurs, and this season he has emerged as one of the important players for the team.
The 29-year-old has made nine Premier League starts this season, and two starts in the Champions League.
Against Barcelona, he made three key passes, two tackles and completed 49 passes with 87.8% accuracy, according to whoscored.com.
Pochettino was full of praise for the midfielder after Spurs earned a fantastic 1-1 draw against the Catalan giants at Camp Nou on Tuesday night.
“I am so happy, because from the day he signed two and a half years ago he struggled to adapt at the club in the way that we wanted him to play,” said Pochettino to Football London.
“But in the same way I am so proud of him because he showed his a great person, a great man, a really top man and then he’s a great professional. The quality that he had he always gave 200 per cent in every single game.
“Sometimes he was better than others, sometimes good, sometimes not so good, but one thing we can always describe him as is honest, such an honest person and an honest player. That is a massive thing for a player that they need to play for the team and show fantastic commitment.”
After Spurs collected just one point from their opening three games, they were facing an uphill task of progressing through to the next round.
However, they made a dramatic comeback, and Lucas Moura’s 85th-minute equaliser earned a priceless point at Barcelona. After Inter Milan drew 1-1 against PSV Eindhoven at San Siro in the other Group B match, Tottenham’s progress through to the Round of 16 was confirmed.