Ryan Sessegnon has emerged as one of the outstanding talents from the Championship as he spearheads Fulham’s promotional charge.
The 17-year-old has even been tipped with an outside chance of making it in to England’s World Cup squad and it’s to no surprise the Premier League giants have been linked with the diminutive winger.
Here, we analyse the performance of the coveted star in our weekly scouting report of talents under the age of 23 from around Europe as Fulham were held to a 2-2 draw with QPR at Craven Cottage.
Goals – 0
Assists – 1
Shots – 1
Shots on target – 1
Touches – 40
Passes – 31
Key passes – 1
Dribbles – 2
Offside – 2
Watching this game in isolation you might wonder why Fulham and Sessegnon in particular have come in for such tremendous praise this season.
The hosts were well off their usual high standards with some legitimately horrendous passing and flicks hallmarking an insipid display.
And of course, that chain of negligence inflicted Sessegnon’s ability to make a consistent impact on the left of a front three – particularly after the break when the Cottagers let their 2-0 lead slip.
In pockets, he was a rocket, grabbing a clever assist for Fulham’s second. When he was good, he looked great, the raw talent on display justifying his tag as the next big thing.
Movement – Beginning his fledgling career at left-back before moving further forward has naturally led to comparisons with Gareth Bale, but Sessegnon is a different dynamic. He’s not the best technician, not particularly flash either, but his understanding of space is remarkable for a player of his age.
Link-up – Ultimately, Sessegnon’s speed and desire to drive at the opposition right-back is what makes him a nightmare. But it’s his maturity and appreciation of those around him which impresses also – his assist for Lucas Piazon typified that.
Drifting impact – The first half saw the crux of Fulham’s attack pinpointed down QPR’s right channel with Sessegnon occupying the space between his overlapping and opposing full-back. But after the break, the hosts were under intense pressure and struggled to find the marooned teenager.
One dimensional – It’s obvious what Sessegnon wants to do – attack on the outside and then drive at the box or byline. But because he is so predominantly left-footed, he can be a little predictable once he shifts the ball onto his favoured foot.
Ryan Sessegnon (17) picks up his fifth league assist of the season.— Scouted Football (@ScoutedFtbl) March 17, 2018
Charging into the area to get on the end of a Fredericks cross—as usual—it falls to the teenager and he tees up Lucas Piazon.
The penalty area is his home. 🏡 pic.twitter.com/8fjSJx5E63
4th min OFFSIDE: As he has shown countless times this season, Sessegnon looks to arrive on the scene at just the right time after Alex Smithies can only parry a Tom Cairney drive into his path but he’s rightly flagged for offside as he slots home.
16th minute CROSS: Fulham are mounting practically every attack in the left channel. This time they ping an early ball to Stefan Johansen who links-up with Sessegnon infield and as the teenager drives to the byline, he cuts back intelligently for Aleksandar Mitrovic who rockets his effort over.
21st minute CHANCE: At 5ft 8in Sessegnon is far from an obvious aerial target. But a floated cross from a short corner on the left finds the winger, though his header lacks any power and Smithies plucks the ball comfortably out of the air.
45th minute ASSIST: Sessegnon picks up his fifth league assist of the season as he lays on Fulham’s second. Ryan Fredericks crosses from the right, the 17-year-old darts in from the left-side of the box and shifts his balance to tee up Piazon after Mitrovic’s sloppy first touch fell to the youngster.
Movement and intelligence define what is a very promising talent. It’s frightening to consider his ceiling given his age, but Sessegnon’s second-half showing is why talk of an England call-up for the World Cup is a little premature.
An eye-catching performance in parts, room to improve in others.
All statistics are compiled using whoscored.com
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