Scout Report: Ryan Sessegnon
Name: Kouassi Ryan Sessegnon
Birth: 18.05.2000 (London)
Height: 5″8 (1.78m)
Current Club: Fulham
It’s widely regarded that Liverpool haven’t had a decent left-back since John Arne Riise and over the years the desperate attempts to fill that hole has led to some horrendous signings, like Paul Konchesky and Andrea Dossena (though I loved his goals against Real Madrid and Manchester United).
At the moment, James Milner is first choice on the left side of the defence and our only natural left-back, Alberto Moreno has failed to impress Klopp, meaning it looks like he will leave Anfield in the summer.
The left-back position is a pretty difficult one to fill as there are very few top-class, talented left-backs on the market and the best ones already play for the likes of Bayern München, Barcelona and Real Madrid. However, there are a number of players that have been discussed as possible options for Liverpool. The latest who has been labelled as possibly Liverpool bound, is Fulham’s teenager, Ryan Sessegnon.
The 16-year-old has been enjoying a great first season in Fulham’s senior squad. So far he’s made 25 appearances this season, scoring 4 goals and assisting 2 in the Championship. He has also scored 2 and assisted 1 in the FA Cup.
Style, strength and weaknesses
Ryan Sessegnon plays principally as a left-back, however he is versatile enough to be used as a left sided midfielder. Sessegnon is strong physically, he is very fast and most importantly he has a great left foot.
Liverpool supporters will see that last one as particularly important as they have seen James Milner dribbling back every single time to his right foot before trying to cross the ball to the box. It takes more touches, more time to cross the ball and it gives the opponent a chance to block or tackle him.
One of the things we have learnt from this season is that Liverpool desperately need much better crosses from the full-backs. Even though Milner has done brilliantly in this season as a make-shift left-back, we cannot rely on him in that position in the coming seasons.
We need a quality player there, who can defend but also can help in the attack, a good technician with pace a great left foot. Sessegnon is certainly an option to consider. He is quick in attack and he has the technical qualities to beat his opponent in 1v1 situations.
More importantly, he has the defensive qualities that Liverpool need. With his pace he can stop counter-attacks and with a 53% winning ratio of tackles he is not afraid to get stuck in.
Nevertheless, it is important to remember that although Sessegnon is undoubtedly a very talented player, he is only 16 years old. He is the new sensation of Fulham in the Championship, but when we talk about Liverpool, we talk about Premier League and hopefully Champions League next season and that’s a completely different level.
Fans, journalists and pundits all agree that Liverpool need at least 5 quality players to the team if they want to improve and be competitive in every front. The left-back position must be addressed, but when we talk about proven, quality players who can affect the game immediately, it’s very questionable that a 16-year- old unproven teenager from Britain’s second league will be able to make that difference.
That would put way too much pressure on a young kid to suddenly perform in a position that has been a weak point for Liverpool for years. Moreover, Sessegnon also has to work on the quality of his crosses and be calmer in decision making.
Sessegnon is a very promising player at just 16 and is playing in one of the toughest leagues in the world, that says a lot. However, for me he is probably one for the future.
Some reports have emerged recently suggesting that Sessegnon will sign a new contract with Fulham and stay put for the next couple seasons. I think that’s a very wise decision from him.
Right now, Liverpool need proven quality, international experience, players who can go straight to the starting line-up. We cannot always buy players for the future, we need experienced players.
Sessegnon still has a lot to improve on and he is at the perfect place in Craven Cottage to do that before moving to a Premier League club.
Written by Dániel Stemler