There are just days left until the summer transfer window opens and, as usual, the speculation is soaring. Although no promising links have been drawn between Liverpool and Ryan Sessegnon, here’s a look at why Jurgen Klopp should snatch up the English teenager before anyone else.
Since his breakthrough into senior football, 17-year-old Ryan Sessegnon has been making huge waves. The Fulham youngster has everything that will turn him into a world class player. His latest pedigree boasts Championship Player of the Season, the youngest to ever receive the honour.
Sessegnon’s footballing career started off in 2008 in the Fulham U9s team. Since then, he has risen through the ranks and blossomed into the young starlet he is now. Making his first team debut in 2016, Sessegnon impressed from the off. He has set the record for youngest ever player to score in the Championship and is the first footballer born in the 2000s to score a first-team goal in English league history.
Against Cardiff City in the 2016 FA Cup, Sessegnon made his competitive debut — he also bagged the match-winner. His 50th appearance for the Cottagers against Sheffield United delivered his first professional hat-trick. The teenager has set the bar extremely high for other up and coming footballers.
Sessegnon’s current season is a pretty solid benchmark for his future in football. He has already showcased versatility that even some of the most senior players struggle with. Starting as a left-back, Sessegnon rose into the limelight with his strong defensive displays. He kept six clean sheets out of his 19 appearances and made 38 tackles, averaging at 1.93 per 90 minutes.
Sessegnon statistically commits 0.32 fouls per 90 minutes in comparison to 0.5 for Joe Gomez and 1.1 for Alberto Moreno, though Gomez and Moreno each attempt 3.6 tackles per 90 as opposed to Sessegnon’s 2.6. Still, the youngster’s discipline is a promising feature to have.
Sessegnon has been dribbled past 0.96 times per 90 minutes, only slightly more than both Gomez and Alberto Moreno at 0.9 per 90. The younger of the three definitely isn’t a a full-back amateur.
After Sessegnon assisted two goals and scored another two as a defender, Slaviša Jokanović realised his attacking potential. The Number 3 has since been shifted forward to wreak havoc against the opposition.
Now playing as a left winger, his attacking threat is being used more clinically. He has tallied an impressive 15 goals and six assists so far this season. According to Squawka, he has created 49 goal scoring opportunities in 44 appearances. Already he has established himself as a vital asset to Fulham FC.
If Klopp was to bring Sessegnon to Anfield, Liverpool’s squad depth would be increased twofold from a single signing. With Andy Robertson cementing his place in the first team, the left-back position is finally in good hands. But Sessegnon could easily slot into the full-back role during any absences from the Scot. His defensive experience will be a comfortable transition, allowing James Milner to remain in his preferred midfield position.
Playing opposite Trent Alexander-Arnold will do wonders for Sessegnon’s confidence. With the two young defenders occupying the far flanks, their chemistry and abilities will grow together. The two could even experience a joint England call-up, which will further their relationship on and off the pitch.
But let’s focus on his current role as an attacker. Sessegnon’s drive and creativity was enough to convince Jokanović to add him to Fulham’s attack. Were he to come to Liverpool, he would provide great rotational options for Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mané. The beauty of Liverpool’s front three is that they can play almost anywhere in the attacking third. Mané is fluid on both wings, Salah can shift up front with ease and Roberto Firmino has plenty of experience playing on the left.
Should any injury come knocking, the trio are versatile enough to rotate around the front three formation. Sessegnon would then be ideal to slot into the left wing role during any injury/illness situation. The teen would make for a great power substitute too, alleviating pressure from the three forwards and allowing them to rest up a little more at the end of matches.
A bright future
Joining a club like Liverpool will allow Sessegnon to progress into the top footballer he is destined to become. Fulham still have a chance of being promoted to the Premier League for the 2018/19 season, though they’ll need to overcome a 1-0 deficit against Derby County on the return leg to Craven Cottage.
Jokanović has stated he is ‘confident Sessegnon will stay if Fulham reach promotion’. But with interest from Spurs, Man City and Paris Saint Germain, the pressure is on to keep the starlet in his boyhood club. The number of clubs keenly eyeing up the youth speaks volumes for how bright his future is looking.
A last-minute-Klopp-style swoop could be in order if the west London club fail to reach the EPL. You never know what talks are going on behind closed doors.
Sessegnon better move to Liverpool if he cares about his development. A chance to develop under an awesome manger who gives kids a chance at the very top
— Kwame (@d_Bosom) May 9, 2018
Compare Sessegnon to fellow prodigy Kylian Mbappé — the interest in the Monaco youngster was bursting out the seams last season. Current loan club PSG were offering up to £166million for the permanent move of Mbappé. Now its Sessegnon’s turn to rake in the attention. Guaranteed Premier League football will be a vital step, but who will convince him leave Fulham?
His likelihood to flourish at Liverpool is probably higher than most of the top clubs in the EPL. A top four finish for the second year in a row is almost guaranteed for the Reds. Klopp’s willingness to test younger players is also in Sessegnon’s favour.
Liverpool have also dominated the Champions League – due to face Real Madrid in the Kyiv final on 26th May. Could their success tip the scales in their direction? European royalty is definitely not something to sniff at when you’re an up and coming teenager. But with the world as his oyster, who will sway Sessegnon to take the next leap in his career?