Name: Moussa Sissoko
Current Club: Newcastle (EPL)
International Career: He's played for the French national team since 2009; at last year's World Cup (his first one in the squad), he scored a goal as part of France's 5-2 asskicking of the Swiss.
Position: Central midfielder ("box-to-box," if you like)
FIFA video game rating: Not as high as you might expect -- a 75, according to Infallible Futhead.
Transfermarkt value: They've got it at 11 million Euros, or £8.6 million, though there's talk (crazy talk) that he wouldn't leave St. James Park for less than £20 million.
Why we're taking a look-see: Despite persistent rumors that Sissoko is off to PSG, he announced over the weekend that Arsenal is the "club of his heart" and he'd love to work something out with Arsene Wenger. The Guardian observed that "Arsène Wenger has been linked with the Frenchman even though the Arsenal manager’s need appears to be for a defensive-minded midfield signing. Sissoko is a more thrusting, offensive player." Sky Sports added that Sissoko only came to Newcastle for £1.7 million two years ago, making the reported £20 million price tag a pretty tidy profit.
What WhoScored thinks of him: In 19 Premier League matches this year, he's scored two goals and rates a relatively pedestrian 6.76. (He also added a goal in Capital One Cup play.)
What he looks like in edited-for-maximum-oooooh-factor video:
From 2013, declaring that "a new Premiership star is born."
Spendy McWarchester Excitement Level (SMEL) Index: 6 of 10 Bags-o'-Euros, as Sissoko is a French international who might be sold above his value.
Our two pence: It's lovely that Sissoko wants to play with Arsenal -- he wants to stay in England, he wants to play Champions League football, and Arsenal's probably the only reasonable option that ticks both of those key boxes. Newcastle seems, in particular, to be on a bleak trajectory, so it's understandable that he'd want to hit the eject button on that situation.
But what would Sissoko give Arsenal, really? Some speed on the wings, even though Theo Walcott's playing himself back into game shape? Some directness in central midfield, now that Mesut Özil's back and with Santi Cazorla playing ridiculously well of late? As the first part of the season's shown, quality depth is something that Arsenal could use, but it's hard to see how Sissoko would crack the Starting XI as things stand, and the Mathieu Debuchy injury's probably going to steer any transfer cash toward the defensive side of the lineup. But thanks for the love all the same, Moussa. You're the surplus central midfielder and vague goal-scoring threat of OUR heart.