Arsenal legend has been waiting six years for Spurs man to show current form – Full of praise

Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Image: @snapshotspurs

Following an impressive performance against Southampton at the weekend, Tottenham’s Ryan Sessegnon has received some well-deserved praise from Arsenal legend Ian Wright.

Sessegnon’s Tottenham career has not gone quite to plan so far, with injuries and more senior players ahead of him often limiting the full-back’s game time.

In 2019, Sessegnon joined Spurs from Fulham for a £22.5m million fee at just 19 (Transfermarkt), with Wright, speaking on his own podcast, claiming he’s waited ‘many, many years’ for the Englishman to perform as he did against Southampton.

Since joining Spurs, the defender has made just 34 appearances (TransferMarkt), and although he did spend a season on loan at Hoffenheim, he never truly laid a claim for a starting spot in North London until recently.

Towards the back end of last season, and certainly on Saturday, Sessegnon started to impress, showing flashes of the quality that convinced Daniel Levy to splash out on a then relatively inexperienced teenager.

Wright was vocal in his support for Sessegnon, and whilst admitting he hasn’t yet reached the heights once expected of him, was pleased to see the Englishman on the scoresheet in Tottenham’s 4-1 demolition of the Saints. 

He said (Wrighty’s House Podcast): “He needed that (goal), I was pleased for Ryan Sessegnon. I think he made his debut at 15, he might have turned 16 (for Fulham).

“We have been waiting for Ryan to do his stuff for many, many years. When he got to Tottenham finally, you think ‘here we go, let’s see what he does’. And it still hasn’t taken off for him.”

Antonio Conte has a track record of developing wingbacks and is perhaps the best coach in world football at doing so, meaning Sessegnon is undoubtedly in the right place to improve.

Arguably, his biggest success to date is the unprecedented reinvigoration of then Chelsea’s Victor Moses, which Wright himself referenced. 

He said: “But we saw some green shoots last season. Him playing there and getting the opportunity to continue to play there under Conte. You know what Conte is like. As he did with Victor Moses, he will give you the birth if you are ready to go.”

Now, the biggest hurdle facing Sessegnon is whether he can secure regular first-team football, as he faces stern competition to keep his place in this Tottenham side.

Following his arrival earlier this summer, when fully fit, Ivan Perisic is presumably the first choice left wingback in Conte’s eyes, as the 33-year-old Croatian has a history with the Italian and perfectly exemplifies what Conte wants in a wingback. 

Nevertheless, Sessengon’s performance on Saturday was a statement, and his goal showed he does indeed have the attacking prowess necessary to play in Conte’s system.

Again, Wright praised the defender’s mentality after the game, pleased that the 22-year-old recognised he must continue to be a threat going forward to maintain his place in the side.

He said: “Seeing him score that goal, and then him coming out and saying ‘I need to do a lot more of that’. He himself realises that there are people in this team, if I am not asserting myself and doing that, then I am going to lose my place.”

Spurs Web Opinion:

Regardless of Saturday’s performance, Sessegnon is in for a battle if he wants to become a regular starter, as when Perisic is fit he is truly a world-class player. 

However, performances like these will not go unnoticed by Conte, so for now, he must continue to work hard and learn from the Italian if he wishes to develop into the player he was once tipped to become.

From a fan’s point of view, for once, it’s hard not to disagree with Wright, as for a player with such potential it’s good to see Sessegnon finally perform.

With a busy schedule ahead, the Englishman is bound to get chances this season first choice or not, so he must continue to work hard and put in performances like Saturday’s if he is to eventually become a regular in this Tottenham side.

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