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Who is Ryan Sessegnon?

Saturday 25th March 2017
­ The English league has seen some real young, raw talent come through the ranks in recent history. Most notably Gareth Bale rising through the Southampton and Spurs academy whilst Marcus Rashford is proving his worth in the United ranks. I look at another youngster giving it a real go in 16-year-old, Ryan Sessegnon.

August 2016, Ryan Sessegnon made his debut for Fulham, in a League Cup match against Leyton Orient. He impressed manager Slavisa Jokanovic, earning his first league appearance just a week later in the Skybet Championship. Playing in the left back position is arguably one of the hardest roles to tie down in the squad, with a big, strong, experienced personality normally being preferred. Nevertheless, Sessegnon has convinced manager, fans and fellow team-mates he is good enough to play at this level despite his tender age.

He impresses at international level also. At just 16 years of age, the left back has represented England at U16, U17 & U19 level, even scoring once in his five appearances for the national side. Whilst he continues to push other youngsters his age, he is also pushing his fellow Fulham teammates. He has made 18 appearances so far for the Londoners, netting 4 times from left back. It's no secret that his raw pace is a major asset, which has helped him reach this stage, while his skills on the ball are certain to improve as the youngster develops.
So what next for Sessegnon? Whether the young left back should stay at Fulham for the foreseeable future or move to a top Premier League side is hard to choose between. He could prove himself even further by staying put at Craven Cottage, becoming a first team regular and earning a decent wage in the short term. On the other hand, he could move to a top four Premier League club, play for their reserves for a year (or be loaned to the Championship or lower Premier League club) for the experience. Should Sessegnon follow the latter, he could make himself some serious money but jeopardise his playing time over the next 5 years. If Ryan gets both offers on the table by the summer, it will be a major test of character as to which he chooses. But, could you really blame a 16-year-old for making the wrong decision?

One particular player which Sessegnon could use as an example of what not to do is Scott Sinclair. Sinclair was a fans favourite at Swansea having committed 2 seasons with the Welsh side. The pacey winger was on fire for the Swans and swiftly agreed on a deal to join Manchester City, which was worth over £8million to Swansea Football Club. However, his time at City saw him make just 13 appearances in 3 years with two loan spells following shortly after. Sinclair now plays his football up north at Celtic, if only he had stayed put he could still be plying his trade in the Premier League. Sessegnon deserves Premier League offers this summer; I for one hope he progresses into a top professional having shown early signs of being a top footballer.
Jack Drury
19 years of age. Sport and Exercise Science Student at Loughborough University. Peterborough United.

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