Despite Fulham’s energy-sapping 2-1 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday, the impressive debut of Ryan Babel was a significant positive from the match.
Yet the encouraging display from the new signing is worrying news for Ryan Sessegnon, who saw himself demoted to the bench in favour of Babel.
Babel added an extra dimension to the Fulham attack on the weekend, quickly revealing he is one of the few players in the squad who possesses the necessary physical attributes to compete in the Premier League.
In a Fulham team desperately lacking speed and aggressiveness, Babel showed generous helpings of both when terrorising the Tottenham defence in the early stages.
The quickly winger seized on a loose Spurs touch and burst down the touchline, outmuscling Davinson Sanchez and forcing Hugo Lloris into an excellent save when through on goal.
Furthermore, Babel almost headed home another goal and played a crucial role in a scintillating counter-attack that ended with Aleksandar Mitrovic’s goal being ruled offside.
Less than ten minutes into the second half, Babel was hauled off in favour of Sessegnon, but it was clear the Dutchman had the better match.
Sessegnon’s confidence appeared shot during his cameo as the 18-year-old was caught offside numerous times, was shrugged off the ball, and failed to make any impact during the second half.
Although it is far from easy to be thrown onto the pitch with your team desperately defending against a fearsome Spurs side, Sessegnon did little to convince Claudio Ranieri he deserves to start over Babel.
And when Ryan Babel returns to full fitness in the coming weeks, Ryan Sessegnon’s playing time could be seriously slashed in the process.