Ryan Sessegnon inspired by Chelsea wing-backs James and Chilwell as he looks to kickstart Tottenham career
yan Sessegnon hopes Thursday’s match against NS Mura can “kickstart” his Tottenham career after returning from another frustrating spell on the sidelines.
Antonio Conte has said Sessegnon will make his first start since August in the Europa Conference League tie, with Spurs needing a win to reach the knockouts.
“For me, it’s massive, a chance to really kickstart my career as it has been a very stop-start situation since I’ve been at the club for various reasons,” said Sessegnon, who joined Spurs in summer 2019, spent last season on loan at Bundesliga club Hoffenheim and has now played under four different managers.
“It’s a big opportunity for me to play. When I was at Fulham, I was young, playing every game, people were speaking about me. In football things don’t always go your way. There’s ups and downs. This could be my chance to really kickstart here and progress. I’m very relaxed about the situation and looking forward to the future.
“I hope I am over [the injuries],” he added. “I feel much better right now. Certain situations I do have to manage the load in terms of my hamstrings, but it is behind me and I am just looking forward.
“Of course it has been very tough, everyone knows that. People very close to me know how much it affected me a little bit, but in terms of confidence I think that is behind me now. It’s a time when I really need to kick on and show what I can do.
“It never crossed my mind to leave Spurs permanently. I knew I would have to go out on loan, which I did and I came back with a lot of confidence and then got injured again.”
Sessegnon believes the left wing-back role in Conte’s 3-4-2-1 system is “perfect” for him and he is taking inspiration from Chelsea pair Ben Chilwell and Reece James, who are posting eye-catching numbers for goals and assists this season.
“The formation is perfect for me,” said the England Under-21 international. “Left wing-back is where I feel most comfortable. It suits me. When I started at Fulham, I was a left-back and got pushed further forward. When you combine the two and I can play as as a wing-back, it’s perfect.
“Chilwell and James are doing very well offensively and defensively for Chelsea this season – at every opportunity, they’re arriving in the box, scoring goals, getting assists. That’s something I like to do as well. Credit to them, they’re playing very well at the moment in a similar system that we’re playing where for me I can get in the box, score and create chances.
“That season when I scored so many goals [for Fulham], a lot of them were in or around the penalty box. That’s where the manager wants us to be. When one wing-back is crossing, he wants the other in the box to score goals. It’s nothing new to me. I’m relishing the opportunity.”
Conte said of Sessegnon: “Ryan in my opinion has great potential. We have seen in the past he suffered a lot of injuries. Now we’re trying to work in the right way with him.
“With his type of player, it’s very important during training to push your engine to a high level and have good training sessions. In this way you’re trained during the game to bring high intensity and level of performance.
“We’re working with him for the past two weeks, now he’s ready to start the game tomorrow. And yeah, I can’t wait to see his performance because he’s a talented player, very young with great space for improvement.
“Now it’s important to give him regularity to try to avoid injury and give him the chance to be available for every game.”