Jose Mourinho has admitted, in comments reported by Football London, that Ryan Sessegnon was not injured ahead of Tottenham Hotspur’s clash with Everton, while insisting that he is a big fan of Dennis Cirkin after calling the youngster into the squad on Monday.
With Spurs looking to bounce back from their hugely disappointing performance at Sheffield United last week, plenty of fans would have been hoping for a number of changes for the game against the Toffees.
Perhaps surprisingly therefore, Sessegnon was missing from the squad. Meanwhile, Cirkin was promoted to the bench.
The decision seemed to prompt some fans to speculate whether the former was carrying an injury. But following the 1-0 win, Mourinho explained the thinking behind the decision.
“No, not injury,” he said, as reported by Football London, when asked whether Sessegnon was injured.
“He’s working with us for a couple of weeks but I thought you’d ask me why Dennis Cirkin, 18-years-old. is on the bench. It’s a very positive thing. I like Dennis very, very much, he works really hard.
“To have the opportunity of so many players on bench is very nice and for him to feel like he is an option, like Harvey White was on the bench against Manchester United and Skipp on the bench almost every match. I think it’s also important for the young guys.”
TBR View: Mourinho making two statements with selection decision
Mourinho’s comments on Sessegnon seem somewhat ominous. It has not been an easy season for the 20-year-old.
He has managed to make just six appearances in the Premier League. Admittedly, he has had a little more success in the Champions League, with a goal and assist coming in three appearances in the competition.
Picking Cirkin ahead of him may send a message to Sessegnon. But Mourinho’s comments also make a significant statement about the 18-year-old’s potential.
He did not get onto the pitch on Monday. But with five games to go, the teenager can surely hold out some hope that he may yet get the opportunity to make his debut before the campaign concludes.