Jose Mourinho has claimed that he views Tottenham’s Ryan Sessegnon as more of an attacking player than a defensive one at this stage of his career.
The 19-year-old joined Spurs for £25million (BBC) in the summer from Fulham and he arrived as an extremely exciting talent.
He racked up 120 first-team games at Craven Cottage and has great experience for his age, but it’s unclear on what his best position is.
The English teenager often alternated between being a left-winger or a left-back for Fulham, while the same has happened at international level up to the Under-21 age group.
Sessegnon has missed most of the new season so far with a hamstring problem and only just returned recently towards fitness, making his first two Spurs appearances under Mauricio Pochettino before his exit.
The speed machine is yet to get on the pitch for Mourinho and is waiting for his first start for the North London club, but he’s received an intriguing comparison from his new manager.
Mourinho can see similarities between Sessegnon and arguably England’s greatest ever left-back Ashley Cole, but for now intends to use him in a more offensive role and can see him developing defensively in years to come.
“I think in this moment he is a winger on the left, can also play on the right, can learn progressively and even developing physically, which he is doing,” Mourinho said, as quoted by Football.London.
“Ryan has lots of similarities with Ashley [Cole], and he can learn how to defend. In the future I think he can be (a left-back) but in this moment he is not ready to play as a left-back.”
It’s quite the claim for Mourinho to compare Sessegnon with Cole and admit that he plans to keep him away from the full-back position for now.
But there is no doubt that he can be a goal threat and he’s going to add some extra dynamism in the final third.
He’s going to have to be patient behind the likes of Heung-Min Son and Lucas Moura on the wings, but it’s about taking any opportunity that comes his way and he is still just a teenager.
Mourinho’s comments should allow Sessegnon to focus on improving his attacking game and fans should be excited about what he can offer during a busy December.