Championship Player of the Season, the first PFA Young Player of the Year nominee outside the top flight, a target for every major club and reportedly under consideration for a place in England’s World Cup squad this summer – not bad for a 17-year-old.
It’s been a whirlwind season for Fulham‘s Ryan Sessegnon, who swept up at the Championship’s end-of-season awards ceremony recently. The teenage sensation has built on the confidence of being given his first-team debut last term to become the Cottagers’ key player.
The Whites are pushing for a return to the Premier League and the goals, verve and creativity of their young full-back-cum-winger are giving thrust to their engine.
Believed to be a top transfer target for Manchester United, Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur and many more, one way or another, it’s almost certain Sessegnon will be playing Premier League football next term, regardless of whether Fulham go up.
And looking at his statistics for the current campaign, it’s easy to see why the England Under-21 international is the apple of every major club’s eye.
His 14 Championship goals this term have come at an incredible rate of 0.34 per 90 minutes, meaning, despite spending a significant chunk of his time at left-back, Sessegnon is bagging a goal every three games on average.
What’s more, despite his wide starting position, 14 of his 15 strikes have come from inside the penalty area, with 11 of those within a central zone. Although his starting position is as a winger, the teenager is incredibly adept at getting into scoring positions and finishes ruthlessly.
Sessegnon’s goals per 90 average also rank him sixth among Championship players aged 21 and under, while his 0.13 assists per 90 is 11th.
He is the 15th-ranking player aged 21 or under for open-play key passes per 90 in the Championship, and fifth for big chances created per 90.
Perhaps the most surprising of Sessegnon’s statistics for the season is that he has played an incredible 3,860 minutes for Fulham, with only 20 Championship players, of any age, seeing more game time.
While it is impressive that one so young has been relied upon so much at senior level, it may also be slightly concerning that he has played this many minutes so early in his career – of all the outfield players to have featured more regularly in the Championship this term, Millwall’s George Saville, 24, is the youngest.
With burnout a concern, a gradual introduction to the Premier League, whenever he gets there and with whichever club, might benefit the 17-year-old’s longevity.
For now, though, Sessegnon is showing no signs of needing a rest. And if Gareth Southgate is looking for a wildcard for the World Cup, he’ll be ready.