Ryan Sessegnon was reacquainted with the left-back role he was tasked with in the first half of last season, as Fulham breezed past Exeter City 2-0 to progress in the EFL Cup. It was a move made to facilitate the resting of other key Fulham players not required for a midweek game against League Two opposition.
This was not a tough test though; and the 18-year-old spent large swathes of the game camped in a left-wing position anyway.
He completed 59 of his 69 passes, combining in the box with his team-mates whenever possible and providing two key passes in the process. He also got to enjoy spending time on-field with his twin brother Steven Sessegnon, who was subbed on for his first senior appearance of the season.
For Ryan though, this was a glimpse into what the future might hold this season. He will very likely shift between attack and defence, slotting into roles which Fulham manager Slavisa Jokanovic needs filling.
“Ryan Sessegnon is 18 years old with around 100 games in professional football. I made a decision, he does not need to play all of the games, nobody needs to play all of them. He is in the same process as the team, his potential is huge – 100 per cent he will be an important player for us this season. If he doesn’t play a game or doesn’t start a game it is not tragic news. He is working hard, he pushes forward and he will be an important part of our Premier League team.”
He has already played left and right-wing this season, but Fulham have stocked up the attacking side of the field, while having little to no cover at left-back for new recruit Joe Bryan.
The position question comes at a time when the youngster has reportedly come under consideration for an England call-up. Admittedly, for England, he could slot seamlessly into the left wing-back position given his dynamism anywhere down the left flank.
Whatever happens, Gareth Southgate was at Craven Cottage for Fulham’s Premier League game one the weekend – which Sessegnon did not start in. He is watching and a call-up could be a matter of when, rather than if.