Ryan Sessegnon’s career at Tottenham Hotspur has failed to get started in his first full season since transferring from Fulham last summer.
However, due to COVID-19 and the economical state of football, Sessegnon could have an important second chance to show Jose Mourinho how valuable he can be to the team.
The youngster’s time in North London has been nothing short of a struggle. Before he completed his move across London, Sessegnon suffered a hamstring injury for England’s U21 side.
129 days later, Mauricio Pochettino handed a debut to the Englishmen in the 1-1 draw against Everton back in November.
Despite the change of management at Spurs, Sessegnon still failed to cement a consistent spot in the matchday squad, featuring only 12 times. However, he did record his first-ever goal for the club against Bayern Munich in the Champions League. (Transfermarkt)
Jose Mourinho is hoping to rebuild a squad in the mould of his own ethics and philosophy. So, will Ryan Sessegnon still have a future at Spurs by the 2020/21 season?
Sessegnon Potential Position and Leaky Defence
In his first eight months at the club, Sessegnon has been used in a range of different positions. Featuring at left-back, left-wing, and left-wing-back, he failed to command a regular starting spot in any.
Sessegnon set the championship alight in the 17/18 season, scoring 16 goals and helping Fulham in their quest to return to the Premier League (Transfermarkt).
However, his first full season in the top division was one to forget, only scoring twice in 40 appearances. Having said this, people could argue that Fulham, in general, were poor and Sessegnon was not able to show his full potential.
Fast forward to April, and we still don’t know the preferred position of Sessegnon in a Spurs shirt. He has shown the ability to score at left-wing, but his chances are going to be slim due to Heung-Min Son, Lucas Moura, and Steven Bergwijn being above him in the pecking order.
His opportunity could have come in recent weeks due to the injuries to Son and Bergwijn, but the COVID-19 virus put a stop to that.
Another position we could see Sessegnon cementing is at left-back. Jose Mourinho has fielded him in defensive roles for his last four appearances. In his 14 appearances this season, Sessegnon only achieved 0.8 tackles per game, 0.5 interceptions per game and 0.1 blocks per game, as a defensive left-sided player, these stats are worrying (Whoscored).
He has failed to show strength and confidence out on the left and nearly cost Tottenham three valuable points against Norwich City. When Max Aarons got on the inside of Sessegnon, he made a lunging tackle to take down the right-back and award Norwich a penalty to bring the game level.
Some Spurs fans may quickly point out that Sessegnon is not the only one across the backline to have conceded errors with Serge Aurier, Toby Alderweireld, and Jan Vertonghen all guilty of making mistakes in Jose Mourinho’s tenure.
Sessegnon’s confidence levels are low, so he needs a leader to pick him up and push him in the right direction, something Spurs do not have at the moment. Many thought that Mourinho could be the man to sew up the defence but there has been no evidence of that changing anytime soon.
From Mourinho’s first game in charge against West Ham United, Tottenham have gone on to concede 37 goals in 26 games (1.4 per game), keeping only three clean sheets.
So, would it be fair to judge Sessegnon on his performances at left-back with no other players taking responsibility right now?
Earlier in his career, we saw him take the Championship by storm at the age of 17 before becoming one of Fulham’s key leaders in the Premier League.
His time at Tottenham hasn’t gone exactly to plan with injuries, a change of manager, and a generally poor atmosphere. However, Gareth Bale was nearly thrown out of the door before he even got settled and you know how that story ended.
Sessegnon’s best position is left-wing and I believe he would be most useful to Jose Mourinho in an attacking role. However, let’s give him time to settle and develop into the player we have seen before.
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