NEWCASTLE United boss Alan Pardew has vowed to find Moussa Sissoko’s best position – and get the best out of the midfielder.
Sissoko made an immediate impact for the Magpies after his January move from Toulouse.
The France international helped Newcastle win at Aston Villa – and scored twice on his home debut, in a dramatic 3-2 victory over Chelsea.
However, he went on to score only one more goal last term.
And some supporters felt Sissoko – who was played behind striker Papiss Cisse and on the right wing – should have been used as a box-to-box midfielder.
Pardew, determined to get the best out of the powerful 23-year-old in the coming season, admits he has a dilemma on his hands, with Yohan Cabaye and Cheik Tiote his first-choice pairing in central midfield.
“You could argue that Moussa Sissoko needs to define a position,” Pardew said.
“He needs to find a position and he needs to be in the first team.
“If he’s going to play behind the striker, then he needs a few more goals.
“If he’s going to play through the middle, then who comes out? Is it going to be Cheik Tiote or Yohan Cabaye?
“Or is he going to play on the side, where he played for France and Toulouse?”
With half a season in English football under his belt, Pardew feels Sissoko is ready to assert himself more in the Premier League over the coming campaign.
“He’s an important factor in this team,” he added. “His position evolves in our team.
“I think he is a terrific player, and I don’t think we’ve seen the best of him.”
Meanwhile, Newcastle will take a reserve team to Kilmarnock on July 27 (3pm kick-off). Admission to Rugby Park for the game is £8 for adults and £4 for concessions.