Rafa Benitez reacts to the £30m sale of Moussa Sissoko to Tottenham

Moussa Sissoko

Moussa Sissoko

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Rafa Benitez has reacted to the £30million sale of Moussa Sissoko to Tottenham Hotspur.

Newcastle United sold the midfielder in the final hours of the transfer window.

Sissoko's sale followed the high-profile departures of Georginio Wijnaldum and Andros Townsend to Liverpool and Crystal Palace respectively.

United manager Benitez said: "With Andros, I wanted to keep him because he was exactly the type of creative player that we could build the team around, but football is not always as easy as that.

"He loved being at Newcastle but he wanted to play in the Premier League. We had to respect his decision.

"Gini, Moussa and Daryl also wanted to play in the top division.

"They are talented players, but our objective is very clear and we needed every single player, like the staff and the fans, pushing in the same direction.

"It can affect the atmosphere and the team spirit if you don't have that.

"Fans will know that sometimes the team spirit was not strong last season, and that was part of the problem why we got relegated.

"A group of individuals with a lot of talent does not make a good team.

"Our priority has been to build a strong team with good character, mentality and also talent. Now we have a squad where every player who is here wants to work together to fight for the club."