Wed. May 29th, 2024

MATT BARLOW: Sessegnon is finally living up to his billing as English football’s ‘next big thing’<!-- wp:html --><div></div> <div> <p class="mol-para-with-font">Three weeks before Ryan Sessegnon starred in Tottenham’s stylish start to the new season, he was in Seoul and explained why he was sure this season would be different.</p> <p class="mol-para-with-font">Sessegnon shared how he built strength into his body over the summer, especially around his hamstrings, in a determined effort to end the muscle injuries that have frustrated his progress at Spurs.</p> <p class="mol-para-with-font">He knew Antonio Conte had signed Ivan Perisic of Inter Milan to place him at left-back.</p> <div class="artSplitter mol-img-group"> <div class="mol-img"> <div class="image-wrap"> </div> </div> <p class="imageCaption">Ryan Sessegnon scored Tottenham’s first against Southampton after doing well at fullback</p> </div> <div class="art-ins mol-factbox floatRHS sport"> <h3 class="mol-factbox-title">MATCH STATS </h3> <div class="ins cleared mol-factbox-body"> <p class="mol-para-with-font"><span class="mol-style-bold">TOTTENHAM (3-4-3)</span></p> <p class="mol-para-with-font">Lloris 6; Romero 6.5, Animal 7.5, Davies 7 (Lenglet 86min); Royal 7 (Doherty 87), Hojbjerg 6.5, Bentancur 7 (Bissouma 86), Sessegnon 8 (Perisic 66, 6); Kulusevski 7.5 (Moura 86), Kane 6, Son 6. Scorers: Sessegnon 21, Dier 31, Salisu 61 (og), Kulusevski 63. Booked: Sessegnon, Bentancur, Bissouma. Manager: Antonio Conte 7.</p> <p class="mol-para-with-font"><span class="mol-style-bold">Southampton (3-5-2)</span></p> <p class="mol-para-with-font"><span class="mol-style-bold"> </span>Bazunu 5.5; Valery 6 (Stephens 46, 6), Bednarek 6, Salisu 5; Walker-Peters 6 (Redmond 90) Ward-Prowse 6.5, Lavia 6.5, Romeu 6 (Diallo 75, 5), Djenepo 6 (Perraud 72, 5); Aribo 6, A Armstrong 5 (S Armstrong 46, 5). Scorer: Ward-Prowse 12. Booked: None. Manager: Ralph Hasenhuttl 5.5. </p> <p class="mol-para-with-font"><span class="mol-style-bold">Referee</span>: André Marriner 6.5. <span class="mol-style-bold">Presence</span>: 61,732.</p> </div> </div> <p class="mol-para-with-font">This has meant fierce competition as Conte relies on experience, but Sessegnon vowed to learn from the 33-year-old Croatia international and pledged to tap into his vast knowledge for support and advice.</p> <p class="mol-para-with-font">On Saturday, he proved he was serious about what he said in South Korea, and the early signs of his relationship with Perisic are encouraging.</p> <p class="mol-para-with-font">“He is a great player who has won many titles,” said Sessegnon, after netting Tottenham’s first goal of the season in a 4-1 win over Southampton.</p> <p class="mol-para-with-font">“He is also a great person who has already helped me a lot. Even the goal, he told me to come in from the back post and score. Before the warm up he came up to me and said Kyle Walker-Peters is quite short so if the ball goes into the back post make sure you’re there to head it. I took on board.’</p> <p class="mol-para-with-font">Past the goal, which leveled the Spurs, he caused a lot of trouble for Saints by invading the space behind Walker-Peters.</p> <p class="mol-para-with-font">When Perisic replaced him in the 66th minute, the home crowd rose as one to cheer him on from the pitch.</p> <p class="mol-para-with-font">It really felt like a fresh start for Sessegnon, three years after his £15million transfer from Fulham, where he scored 15 goals as a fullback or wide attacker in their 2017-18 promotion campaign.</p> <p class="mol-para-with-font">His speed and eye for goal earned him the Championship’s Player of the Year award and he became the first second-tier player nominated for the PFA Young Player of the Year, won by Leroy Sane. He was a star of England’s Under 21 team and featured prominently in those popular online lists of the best football talents and ‘next big things’.</p> <p class="mol-para-with-font">The long-awaited move to Spurs came in 2019, when the club’s five-year stability under Mauricio Pochettino turned into a turbulent whirlwind.</p> <p class="mol-para-with-font">It was bad timing and Sessegnon disappeared on loan to Hoffenheim in Germany as Jose Mourinho spent £28m on Sergio Reguilon, who is now being pushed aside by Conte.</p> <div class="artSplitter mol-img-group"> <div class="mol-img"> <div class="image-wrap"> </div> </div> <p class="imageCaption">Boss Antonio Conte chose the English left back over new summer signing Ivan Perisic </p> </div> <p class="mol-para-with-font">It wasn’t until the second half of last season that he enjoyed another point in the team, but that didn’t stop Conte from making Perisic a priority.</p> <p class="mol-para-with-font">More than three years after his move, the 22-year-old still has more Premier League appearances and goals for Fulham than Tottenham.</p> <p class="mol-para-with-font">“Since I signed, it’s the first time I’ve had a real pre-season under my belt without any problems,” said Sessegnon.</p> <p class="mol-para-with-font">“So that probably made a difference for me today, and I just want to keep going. You have to treat every game like it’s your last, and that’s what I’m trying to do.” The fullbacks are essential to Conte’s system. They must eat the miles that plunder up and down the flanks, and are as influential in attack as they are important in defense.</p> <div class="artSplitter mol-img-group"> <div class="mol-img"> <div class="image-wrap"> </div> </div> <p class="imageCaption">Wingbacks were a fundamental part of Conte’s system at Spurs, Chelsea and Inter Milan</p> </div> <p class="mol-para-with-font">The Italian had molded Victor Moses into the role at Chelsea. He did the same for Antonio Candreva and Perisic at Inter. He develops effective fullbacks if they are willing to listen, learn and yield to his barrage of instruction.</p> <div class="mol-img-group floatRHS"> <div class="mol-img"> <div class="image-wrap"> </div> </div> <p class="imageCaption">England manager Gareth Southgate could be tempted to call on Sessegnon as left-back</p> </div> <p class="mol-para-with-font">Emerson Royal improves on the right and develops a rapport with Dejan Kulusevski. </p> <p class="mol-para-with-font">On the left, Sessegnon has the intelligence to realize he’s in good hands without getting ahead of the curve.</p> <p class="mol-para-with-font">During that conversation in Seoul, where Tottenham trained for a week and played two friendlies, he was asked if he used the World Cup as motivation. </p> <p class="mol-para-with-font">Eric Dier, also one of the Spurs goalscorers on Saturday, has made it no secret that he wants to impress England boss Gareth Southgate at the start of this season.</p> <p class="mol-para-with-font">Uncapped at senior level, Sessegnon said he hadn’t thought about it, but Southgate, who play the same system as Conte at Spurs, don’t have a wealth of natural left-sided options.</p> <p class="mol-para-with-font">but Southgate, who play the same system as Conte at the Spurs, don’t have a wealth of natural left-sided options.</p> <p class="mol-para-with-font">Last season, with Ben Chilwell injured and Luke Shaw out of favour, the England boss went left for right-footers. Change this flurry of form into something more, though, and Sessegnon will give him food for thought. Just as he has Perisic for competition at Spurs, Chilwell has Marc Cucurella, the £62million signing with Chelsea.</p> </div><!-- /wp:html -->

Three weeks before Ryan Sessegnon starred in Tottenham’s stylish start to the new season, he was in Seoul and explained why he was sure this season would be different.

Sessegnon shared how he built strength into his body over the summer, especially around his hamstrings, in a determined effort to end the muscle injuries that have frustrated his progress at Spurs.

He knew Antonio Conte had signed Ivan Perisic of Inter Milan to place him at left-back.

Ryan Sessegnon scored Tottenham’s first against Southampton after doing well at fullback

MATCH STATS

TOTTENHAM (3-4-3)

Lloris 6; Romero 6.5, Animal 7.5, Davies 7 (Lenglet 86min); Royal 7 (Doherty 87), Hojbjerg 6.5, Bentancur 7 (Bissouma 86), Sessegnon 8 (Perisic 66, 6); Kulusevski 7.5 (Moura 86), Kane 6, Son 6. Scorers: Sessegnon 21, Dier 31, Salisu 61 (og), Kulusevski 63. Booked: Sessegnon, Bentancur, Bissouma. Manager: Antonio Conte 7.

Southampton (3-5-2)

Bazunu 5.5; Valery 6 (Stephens 46, 6), Bednarek 6, Salisu 5; Walker-Peters 6 (Redmond 90) Ward-Prowse 6.5, Lavia 6.5, Romeu 6 (Diallo 75, 5), Djenepo 6 (Perraud 72, 5); Aribo 6, A Armstrong 5 (S Armstrong 46, 5). Scorer: Ward-Prowse 12. Booked: None. Manager: Ralph Hasenhuttl 5.5.

Referee: André Marriner 6.5. Presence: 61,732.

This has meant fierce competition as Conte relies on experience, but Sessegnon vowed to learn from the 33-year-old Croatia international and pledged to tap into his vast knowledge for support and advice.

On Saturday, he proved he was serious about what he said in South Korea, and the early signs of his relationship with Perisic are encouraging.

“He is a great player who has won many titles,” said Sessegnon, after netting Tottenham’s first goal of the season in a 4-1 win over Southampton.

“He is also a great person who has already helped me a lot. Even the goal, he told me to come in from the back post and score. Before the warm up he came up to me and said Kyle Walker-Peters is quite short so if the ball goes into the back post make sure you’re there to head it. I took on board.’

Past the goal, which leveled the Spurs, he caused a lot of trouble for Saints by invading the space behind Walker-Peters.

When Perisic replaced him in the 66th minute, the home crowd rose as one to cheer him on from the pitch.

It really felt like a fresh start for Sessegnon, three years after his £15million transfer from Fulham, where he scored 15 goals as a fullback or wide attacker in their 2017-18 promotion campaign.

His speed and eye for goal earned him the Championship’s Player of the Year award and he became the first second-tier player nominated for the PFA Young Player of the Year, won by Leroy Sane. He was a star of England’s Under 21 team and featured prominently in those popular online lists of the best football talents and ‘next big things’.

The long-awaited move to Spurs came in 2019, when the club’s five-year stability under Mauricio Pochettino turned into a turbulent whirlwind.

It was bad timing and Sessegnon disappeared on loan to Hoffenheim in Germany as Jose Mourinho spent £28m on Sergio Reguilon, who is now being pushed aside by Conte.

Boss Antonio Conte chose the English left back over new summer signing Ivan Perisic

It wasn’t until the second half of last season that he enjoyed another point in the team, but that didn’t stop Conte from making Perisic a priority.

More than three years after his move, the 22-year-old still has more Premier League appearances and goals for Fulham than Tottenham.

“Since I signed, it’s the first time I’ve had a real pre-season under my belt without any problems,” said Sessegnon.

“So that probably made a difference for me today, and I just want to keep going. You have to treat every game like it’s your last, and that’s what I’m trying to do.” The fullbacks are essential to Conte’s system. They must eat the miles that plunder up and down the flanks, and are as influential in attack as they are important in defense.

Wingbacks were a fundamental part of Conte’s system at Spurs, Chelsea and Inter Milan

The Italian had molded Victor Moses into the role at Chelsea. He did the same for Antonio Candreva and Perisic at Inter. He develops effective fullbacks if they are willing to listen, learn and yield to his barrage of instruction.

England manager Gareth Southgate could be tempted to call on Sessegnon as left-back

Emerson Royal improves on the right and develops a rapport with Dejan Kulusevski.

On the left, Sessegnon has the intelligence to realize he’s in good hands without getting ahead of the curve.

During that conversation in Seoul, where Tottenham trained for a week and played two friendlies, he was asked if he used the World Cup as motivation.

Eric Dier, also one of the Spurs goalscorers on Saturday, has made it no secret that he wants to impress England boss Gareth Southgate at the start of this season.

Uncapped at senior level, Sessegnon said he hadn’t thought about it, but Southgate, who play the same system as Conte at Spurs, don’t have a wealth of natural left-sided options.

but Southgate, who play the same system as Conte at the Spurs, don’t have a wealth of natural left-sided options.

Last season, with Ben Chilwell injured and Luke Shaw out of favour, the England boss went left for right-footers. Change this flurry of form into something more, though, and Sessegnon will give him food for thought. Just as he has Perisic for competition at Spurs, Chilwell has Marc Cucurella, the £62million signing with Chelsea.

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