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Could Ryan Sessegnon be better used as a left winger this season?

Saturday 17th November 2018
Could Sessegnon's season be turned around under the reign of Claudio Ranieri
Could Sessegnon's season be turned around under the reign of Claudio Ranieri

Fulham Football Club is struggling with life in the Premier League at this present time. Their recent manager, Slavisa Jokanovic, was sacked and they lie last in the table with just one win to their name. Ryan Sessegnon is arguably their most important player, but we've scarcely heard his name mentioned this term. Let's take a look at why...

Still only 18, Sessegnon has potential aplenty. His performances in the Championship last season granted him as the PFA Young Player of the Year. He also won the coveted Championship Player of the Season award. Assisting Tom Cairney during the Championship play-off final against Aston Villa was a career-defining moment. It was the goal that took Fulham back to the big time.

The South-West Londoner managed to play 49 games last term. During that time 16 goals were scored with eight assists. The full-back/ winger even picked up four Man of the Match awards.

Sessegnon’s progression could be compared to that of Gareth Bale. A young talent starting as a left-back but has the quality to become a great left-sided winger.

Since their promotion to the top English league, Fulham have only picked up five points, losing nine of their twelve games so far. They are also conceding well over two goals per match as the Cottagers' hopes at maintaining their Premier League status is already dwindling.

The chairman, Shahid Khan, wasn’t shy in helping his club with available funds during the summer. Bringing in players such as Jean Michael Seri, Alfie Mawson, Aleksandar Mitrovic and Joe Bryan totalled up transfer spending around the £100million mark.

Andre Schurrle was also brought in on loan, which has hindered Sessegnon’s progress. With the German’s introduction, it means reverting to a former position at left-back. His best performances have actually been in his preferred position at left wing, in fact, that's where Sessegnon was playing when scored his first Premier League goal against Cardiff City. Unfortunately, Fulham lost that game 4-2...

Now with Slavisa Jokanovic departed, a new man enters the fray. Claudio Ranieri. Could the "Tinkerman" change things at Fulham? Will Sessegnon be used to his full potential? One thing is for sure that we know what Ranieri is capable of. He made Leicester City champions of England not too long ago...

Despite the poor start, the club will feel reinvigorated. Knowing that help is here, there is a positivity in the air. Future fixtures include Southampton, Chelsea, Leicester and Manchester United. There are some winnable games in there, but they have to get off on the right foot.

The aforementioned Schurrle currently has four goals and his contributions are reasons for Sessegnon’s inconsistent push back to left-back. The millennial would hope to learn plenty from his new boss and exceed much further than he did last season, but that can’t happen if Schurrle is shutting him out. The Englishman needs to force his way back into the team, which he tried doing when given an opportunity to play on the right-wing, but that didn't really work out at all...

Is the Premier League too much for the youngster or has he not had enough chances? From what we saw last season, he looked a promising player with bundles of ability. But now, playing at a club who are starting to struggle, chances to play are coming at a premium.

But whatever Ranieri does from now on, Sessegnon’s season is in the balance. He will be aware of his versatility but also the ability to score and create chances. Especially with having somebody like Mitrovic leading the line. The Serbian has five goals this campaign and he certainly eases the pressure on the players around him.

Can things pick up at Fulham and will Ryan Sessegnon be used more as a left winger? Who knows, but it's worth another try...

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Jamie Kynaston

For my sins, I'm a season ticket holder at Stoke City, I have been proud to watch them for over 20 years. I follow most of the UK leagues and the major European ones too, and I've been told that I talk way too much about football.

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