Tuesday 17 September 2019

Unrealistic expectation levels on Sessegnon says Jokanovic

The 18-year-old scored 15 Championship goals last season.

Ryan Sessegnon is adapting to Premier League football (Simon Galloway/PA)
Ryan Sessegnon is adapting to Premier League football (Simon Galloway/PA)

By Ed Elliot, Press Association Sport

Slavisa Jokanovic fears there are unrealistic expectations of Fulham’s teenage star Ryan Sessegnon.

Sessegnon was touted as an outside contender for England’s World Cup squad after he was named Sky Bet Championship player of the year during the Cottagers’ promotion-winning season.

The 18-year-old has since been part of a team which has struggled to adapt to life in the Premier League.

He has played in each of the west London club’s 10 top-flight fixtures this term, which have produced just one win and only five points.

“In this moment, Ryan has some unnecessary high responsibility because many people are focused on this man and how he is going to save the team,” said manager Jokanovic.

“Generally, it’s not a job for Ryan Sessegnon and this extra pressure on this man is not necessary.

“We trust him, he is a quality man and he is always available to support his team-mates. We must expect other players to support him too and in this way.

“It will be easier for us and easier for him too.”

England Under-21 international Sessegnon was arguably Fulham’s standout performer during Thursday’s 2-0 Carabao Cup defeat at Manchester City.

He was selected at left-back for that game as Jokanovic continues to search for his best starting XI after making 12 summer signings.

City youngsters Phil Foden and Brahim Diaz impressed during the cup tie and Jokanovic admits they have the advantage of lining up alongside better players.

“Ryan Sessegnon was probably our best player on the field at the Etihad,” added Jokanovic, who takes his team to bottom club Huddersfield on Monday.

“He is not a 16-year-old man anymore, there are 100 games behind him and he is stronger and bigger and showed some speed like the City players too.

“Ryan Sessegnon can perfectly play as a winger and we must teach him to be more solid and find better defensive condition when he plays at full-back.

“Ryan is in a similar category to Phil Foden and Brahim Diaz, fortunately for these two players they have a little bit of an easier job playing around world-class players and it can be an easier job for them to show their quality.”

PA Media

The Throw-In: 'Jim Gavin has achieved what Mick O'Dwyer and Brian Cody couldn't do'

In association with Bord Gáis Energy

Also in Sport