Author Topic: Friday Fulham Stuff (05/05/17)...  (Read 3674 times)

Offline whitejc

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (05/05/17)...
« Reply #20 on: May 05, 2017, 08:18:47 AM »
 
Rumour Mongering: Liverpool Look to Plan B at Left Back

If Ryan Sessegnon wants to stay at Fulham, Liverpool will need a plan B and it could be Ryan Bertrand.

With rumblings in recent weeks that 16-year-old left back phenom Ryan Sessegnon wants to stay at Fulham for at least another year or two, Liverpool could be forced to look elsewhere to strengthen at left back this summer, and today the rumour mongers have turned up Ryan Bertrand as a potential fallback option.

Liverpool have been linked with the 27-year-old Chelsea academy product before, and according to the Mirror and others, if they can’t convince Sessegnon to make the switch to Anfield to be James Milner’s backup they will instead move for Bertrand to compete with him for the starting job next season.

Bertrand looked a promising prospect at Chelsea, but after nine years and seven different loan destinations over nine separate loan deals, the Blues chose to let him leave on a permanent deal. He headed to Southampton, one of his loan clubs, in a £10M deal in the summer of 2015 and has started ever since.

It is also rumoured that in addition to interest from Liverpool should their plans to land Sessegnon fall through, Chelsea are considering an attempt to re-sign Bertrand to strengthen their own left back options as they prepare to head back into the Champions League next season.

In either case, Bertrand wouldn’t arrive a nailed-on starter but would be given the chance to compete for the starting role on a Champions League side. Southampton, currently sat in ninth, will not be competing in Europe next season. Bertrand has 30 appearances and three goals for the Saints this season.



http://liverpooloffside.sbnation.com/liverpool-fc-transfer-news/2017/5/4/15543454/liverpool-fc-chelsea-southampton-transfer-news-ryan-bertrand-left-back

Offline whitejc

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (05/05/17)...
« Reply #21 on: May 05, 2017, 08:21:28 AM »
 
Why Tottenham Hotspur Is The Perfect Destination For This Sparkling Fulham Youngster

According to reports, Spurs have been linked with Fulham’s 16-year-old starlet Ryan Sessegnon. Tottenham Hotspur boss Mauricio Pochettino has been applauded by many for bringing up some of the best Premier league youngsters, like Harry Kane, Eric Dier and Dele Alli, in the last two years. The players have not only done well in the league but have also laid a solid foundation for England national team’s future.

Unsurprisingly given his age, Sessegnon has quickly developed a long list of Premier League admirers, with many reports linking Spurs, Everton, Liverpool and Arsenal with an interest, but he is ready to make a big statement on his future.

Sessegnon has put himself on the map with a stunning display against Newcastle in March with two goals in a 3-1 win at St James’ Park and is planning to sign a new contract with Fulham on his 17th birthday, having already agreed a pre-contract deal.

The teenager has often been compared to Real Madrid’s Gareth Bale, who spent a significant time with Tottenham Hotspur before his move to the Santiago Bernabeu. Sessegnon is known for his tremendous passing and his ability to find players from difficult angles. His vision is way more matured compared to his age and he is touted by many to become the next big thing in England.


He has scored four and registered two assists in 22 appearances so far, despite coming off the bench five times. He has also been called up for national duties. In 2016, Sessegnon played up an age group to represent England in the ‘U17 Euros’. By October last year, he was seen making his debut for the Under-19 side.

Danny Rose is currently the first choice in that position for club and country and has pretty much owned it for some time now. His impressive displays at club level have led him to start in the England national team too. He is followed by Ben Davies at the club level, who is currently featuring for the team with Rose injured, but he has been unimpressive and may not be in the plans for Pochettino next season.

Of course, Sessegnon will not be expecting a direct entry into Pochettino’s first eleven, but given the manager’s reputation of handing down opportunities to young talents, Sessegnon will surely fancy his chances. However, it would hardly be a surprise if Tottenham, Everton, Liverpool and several other top flight teams soon get the chequebooks out to try and land one of the brightest prospects in the Championship



http://the4thofficial.net/2017/05/tottenham-hotspur-perfect-destination-sparkling-fulham-youngster/

Offline whitejc

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (05/05/17)...
« Reply #22 on: May 05, 2017, 08:23:27 AM »
 
Fulham set to send scout to observe Spal defender Vicari on Sunday: the situation

Spal's fairy tale season has had a positive impact for many of their players. The club based in Ferrara is currently in Italy's second division and are very close to obtaining a promotion to Serie A, they have benefitted from the performances of numerous young players including defender Francesco Vicari. Both Chievo and Sassuolo are interested in the player born in '94, and now Fulham is ready to join the race. The English club will in fact send a scout to watch him play next weekend, so after helping his club get promoted Vicari may end up leaving Italy.



http://gianlucadimarzio.com/en/fulham-set-to-send-scout-to-observe-spal-defender-vicari-on-sunday-the-situation


Offline whitejc

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (05/05/17)...
« Reply #23 on: May 05, 2017, 08:25:50 AM »
 
Brendan Rodgers should continue Celtic's Chelsea connection by signing Tomas Kalas

Thriving on loan at Fulham, Tomas Kalas needs a fresh start with Chelsea set to let him go - how about Celtic?

It’s fair to say Brendan Rodgers has used his connections to great effect at Celtic. Helping hone a teenage Scott Sinclair’s talents during his spell in charge of the Chelsea academy and then at Swansea, the Northern Irishman reunited with the winger (above) this summer when signing him from Aston Villa.

And, with Celtic cruising to the Scottish Premiership title with Sinclair the division’s leading scorer, the deal was worked out perfectly for all parties.

Furthermore, Gianluca Di Marzio reported last month that Fabio Borini, another Rodgers favourite who worked with him at Chelsea, Swansea and Liverpool, could follow Sinclair to Parkhead with current club Sunderland relegated from the Premier League.

And perhaps Rodgers could maintain that Chelsea connection.

One-time Czech prodigy Tomas Kalas may have arrived at Stamford Bridge two years after Rodgers departed to pursue his solo managerial career.

However, with Get West London reporting that Chelsea could finally let him leave in the summer after four appearances in seven years, he jumps off the page as an ideal signing for Celtic.

Readymade replacement?

Fulham may have earned a place in the Championship play-offs thanks to their exhilarating attack rather than a watertight backline but they may not have got in the top six at all without summer loan signing Kalas holding the fort at the back.

Though excellent in the air, the 23-year-old is renowned for his ability to play out from the back, boasting an 86.7 per cent pass completion rate in the Championship this season. Therefore, there’s no doubt he would be found wanting in Rodgers’ methodical approach.

Furthermore, with both Erik Sviatchenko and Jozo Simunovic linked with big money moves to the Premier League, Celtic may be in need of defensive reinforcements.

And Kalas may be the obvious replacement.



http://www.hitc.com/en-gb/2017/05/04/brendan-rodgers-should-continue-celtics-chelsea-connection-by-si/

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (05/05/17)...
« Reply #24 on: May 05, 2017, 08:27:54 AM »
 
Ayite To Lead The Line – Strongest 4-2-3-1 Fulham Line-Up To Play Sheffield Wednesday

Predicted Fulham Lineup To Face Sheffield Wednesday

Fulham’s brilliant second half of the season has seen them shatter Leeds United’s dreams and take the last remaining play-off place and this is one fascinating game for a very unique reason.

Absolutely no-one wants to play Fulham right now. They are the form team in the division and perhaps the best of all when going forward.  However, they cannot finish any higher than 6th and so whichever team finishes 3rd will have to play them in the play-off semi-finals; something that Reading, Huddersfield and more to the point, Sheffield Wednesday will want to avoid.

Wednesday currently sit 4th in the table. Reading and Huddersfield have ‘winnable’ games, so Carlos Carvalhal may think that anything other than 3rd will do nicely and perhaps not give away his play-off line-up. For his part though, Slavisa Jokanovic may wish that his side continue their momentum and bring out the big guns.

Probable Fulham Playing XI:
Formation: 4-2-3-1
Manager: Slavisa Jokanovic
GK – Marcus Bettinelli

Seems to be no.1 now since replacing Button in the team. Should start this game against Sheffield Wednesday.
RB – Ryan Fredericks

Comfortable in midfield, playing Fredericks at right-back is another example of Fulham’s forward thinking style.
CB – Tomas Kalas

Happy alongside Ream in what is a reasonable Fulham back line. Will start at the heart of the defence.
CB – Tim Ream

The American defender has plenty of experience and will want to marshal his side to another win. He will be a vital cog in Fulham’s promotion bid.
LB – Scott Malone

One of the players of the season and a real bonus for Fulham given Sessegnon’s arrival as an attacking force. Malone will start at left-back.
CM – Stefan Johansen

The former Celtic man has been in great form and is a real threat while going forward from his central midfield position.
CM – Kevin McDonald

Rather an unsung hero, he would deserve his place in Fulham’s play-off line-up. He will start this game as well.
RW – Sone Aluko

Fulham’s front four have plenty of pace and movement, exemplified by the former Rangers man who loves to cut in from the right onto his excellent left foot.
CAM – Tom Cairney

Very definitely a Premier League player, whether his current side makes it to the top league or not. Cairney will help out the midfield and is very dangerous around the opposition penalty area.
LW – Ryan Sessegnon

It’s been very impressive watching how this 16-year-old has taken to first team football. Touted already as a future England regular, Sessegnon is tricky and will create plenty for Ayite.
ST – Floyd Ayite

The man from Bordeaux is looking to hit double-figures in the league this season. 9 goals in 30 games is not a bad record and he is part of a very fluid front line for the visitors.



http://soccersouls.com/2017/05/05/ayite-lead-line-strongest-4-2-3-1-fulham-line-play-sheffield-wednesday/

Offline whitejc

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (05/05/17)...
« Reply #25 on: May 05, 2017, 08:29:34 AM »
 
Fulham pair miss out on Championship manager and player of the month awards

Slavisa Jokanovic and Stefan Johansen were up for the gongs after a fine April but just missed out on winning the awards

 Slavisa Jokanovic and Stefan Johansen have missed out on the Championship Manager and Player awards for April.

The Fulham pair were up for the awards after Jokanovic guided his side to 16 points out of a possible 17 in April, while Johansen scored four goals as he put in performance after performance for the Cottagers.

However, it wasn't to be as Jokanovic missed out to Carlos Carvalhal of Sheffield Wednesday, who Fulham face on Sunday in their final regular game of the season, while Johansen was pipped to the gong by Yann Kermogant of Reading.

Carvalhal lead Wednesday to a haul of 19 points from seven unbeaten games in April while Kermogant scored seven goals in seven games.

Fulham travel to Wednesday on Sunday and Jokanovic has challenged his side to grab their play-off chance with both hands ahead of the tie .



http://www.getwestlondon.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/fulham-pair-miss-out-championship-12983825


Offline whitejc

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (05/05/17)...
« Reply #26 on: May 05, 2017, 08:32:12 AM »
 
Jokanović's Sheff Weds Preview

Slaviša Jokanović insists feet are being kept firmly on the ground as Fulham prepare for the final game of the regular season.

Last weekend’s draw with Brentford all but guaranteed a Play-Off spot for his side, but Jokanović is not one for getting carried away.


“It’s not time for any celebration,” he stated. “At the moment we haven’t finished our job.

“We can be happy because we are virtually in the Play-Offs, but we have to be focused ahead of the work that is in front of us, and there are really important games in front of us.

“Mathematically we are still not in. A great chance is in front of us and I believe we are going to be in the Play-Offs.”

Sunday’s hosts Sheffield Wednesday are one possible opponent in the Semi-Finals, and when asked if victory would strike a psychological blow, Jokanović replied: “It’s not a question about a message, it’s a question about what we want to do.

“We’re going to arrive in this historical place and play in front of 3,000 of our away supporters. We’re going to try and concentrate on everything that is around us and choose a team that we believe can win the game.

“The situation is a little bit different. We are under less pressure. From another side, we are only virtually in the Play-Offs and we must be ready for everything.

“We don’t go there for a vacation, a holiday, we’re going to arrive at this important stadium with ambition and desire to win the game.


“We arrive at this game with a similar intention of winning. If you ask me if I’m going to change 10 players, I’m not going to do it.

“From one side because I don’t have enough players, from another side because I don’t want my people to believe we are on some kind of vacation or that the job is done.

“We try and win all the games, no reason exists to arrive at this game with a different mentality.”

Fulham have competed well against the other Play-Off sides this season, winning three and drawing one of the five fixtures so far, notching 15 goals in the process.

But while he acknowledged that was a decent record, Jokanović stressed that it’s what happens this month that matters.

“This is not important,” he explained. “At the end of the day, when we arrive at this game, everything that happened in the past will count for nothing.

“All four teams are going to start with a 25 per cent chance of being the promoted team. These results that are behind us don’t serve us so much for these games that we’re going to play.

“We are in a good level of form, we play with confidence and we play with great ambition. I expect we’re going to improve all aspects of our game for what’s in front of us.”



http://www.fulhamfc.com/news/2017/may/03/jokanovics-sheff-weds-preview

Offline whitejc

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (05/05/17)...
« Reply #27 on: May 05, 2017, 08:36:14 AM »
 
Sheffield Wednesday: Victory over Fulham would give Owls a ‘psychological edge’ in the Championship play-offs

Defeating Fulham on the final day of the regular league season can give Sheffield Wednesday a big psychological advantage for the Championship play-offs.

That is opinion of versatile Owls star Adam Reach as Carlos Carvalhal’s side begin their preparations for the end-of-season shootout.

There is a possibility Wednesday could meet Fulham in the play-offs. Should Carvalhal’s men claim a seventh straight league win for the first time since 1993 this weekend and Reading draw or lose at Burton Albion, the Owls will finish in third position.

Reading, Huddersfield Town and Wednesday have guaranteed their places in the play-offs and Fulham are almost certain to complete the quartet. Only a loss at Hillsborough and a Leeds United win at relegated Wigan Athletic, along with a 13-goal swing, would see the Cottagers fall out of the play-off positions. Whatever happens on Sunday, Fulham can’t finish higher than sixth. Third will play sixth the semi-finals, with the first leg to be staged on Saturday, May 13, kick-off 5:30pm. If the Owls and Cottagers avoid each other in the semis, they could still face one another in the final at Wembley on Monday, May 29.

When asked if a victory over Fulham can give Wednesday a psychological edge, Reach told The Star: “Of course it would. A win always gives you confidence. “We are confident we have got enough to beat anyone in the play-offs. If we can get a win against Fulham and we do meet them later on in the semi-finals or final, it will give us that little bit of extra confidence.”

Finishing third or fourth would ensure the Owls play at home in the second leg of the play-off semi-finals. “I don’t mind whether we play at home in the first or second leg,” said Reach, who arrived from Middlesbrough last August. “Hillsborough will be rocking either way. “We are just happy that we are in the play-offs. “We will enjoy Sunday and see who we get. We know we have the quality throughout the squad to get through.

“We just have to keep working hard and carry on focusing on ourselves.”  The team secured their place in the top-six for the second year running after a hard-earned victory at Ipswich Town last weekend. The result extended their unbeaten run to seven outings. The Owls will be backed by a sell-out crowd at S6 against Fulham but Carvalhal may rest some of his senior stars with one eye on the play-offs.

Reach said: “I don’t know what team the manager will put out but, with our squad, we will go into it wanting to win the game. “We want to make it seven wins in a row and eight unbeaten. We also want to beat Fulham for confidence just in case we meet them later on in the play-offs. We want to cause them problems.” Despite their poor run of form in March, left-sided player Reach says he and his teammates always believed Wednesday would be involved in the promotion shake-up. “Nobody ever doubted we would get into the play-offs,” he said. “When you look around in our changing room, we have so much experience. “We have a lot of guys who have experienced the play-offs, have promotions under their belts and won leagues. “Everybody has got each other’s backs and we have the talent to win games.” When asked how the Owls have turned around their fortunes, Reach said: “The starting eleven hasn’t changed too much. The lads have got into nice rhythm. When the substitutes have come on, they have been hungry to get goals and contribute. “You don’t get promoted with just 11 players. You get promoted with 23 or 24. Every player in the squad has played a big part. “We knew we were capable of going on a winning run. We are delighted to make it six in a row and seven unbeaten. “We were always confident in the changing room we would have a consistent spell. Although we were off the pace half a dozen games ago, we knew we had enough in that locker room to get the wins we needed.”



Read more at: http://www.sheffieldtelegraph.co.uk/sport/football/owls/sheffield-wednesday-victory-over-fulham-would-give-owls-a-psychological-edge-in-the-championship-play-offs-1-8526886

Offline whitejc

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (05/05/17)...
« Reply #28 on: May 05, 2017, 08:37:23 AM »
 
Outgoing Jack Grimmer says thanks to the Shrewsbury faithful

The full-back made 58 appearances in his three loan spells in Shropshire, becoming one of the more familiar members of the squad despite never signing a permanent Greenhous Meadow deal.

The Scot was favoured for having a strong affinity with the supporters and the area, and played his part in Town's League Two promotion as well as helping the club survive for consecutive League One seasons.

He is one of six loanees returning to their parent clubs this summer, where his contract with Fulham comes to an end.

The 23-year-old said: "It's a sad time. I think I was 20 when I first went to play here, they were different times then in getting us out of League Two and, although I haven't played as much, I'm still happy to have been involved in League Two success and keeping us in League One again.

"You want to show that even though you're a loan player, you still care about the club and want them to do well. You really put the effort in and they've seen that.

"I'll definitely always be looking out for the club's results. Whenever I'm playing against them it'll be tough and very weird, especially at the Meadow.

"I'd like say thank you for all the support over the time. They've never been shy to voice their backing for me. Even the support when I was in and out of the team – they still stuck by me and I got a good cheer when I went back in.

"I hope I repaid them with my effort and performances and hopefully I'll see them soon."

Grimmer was in and out of Hurst's first-team after the boss' appointment earlier in the season.

He added: "I definitely see positive times ahead. Everyone's seen what's happened since Paul and Doigy have come in and if they'd have been there all season with that form we'd have been above mid-table.

"Now he's able to properly stamp his authority on the squad, it's definitely onwards and upwards."



Read more at https://www.shropshirestar.com/sport/football/shrewsbury-town-fc/2017/05/05/outgoing-jack-grimmer-says-thanks-to-the-shrewsbury-faithful/#1SYB1cE8ZoXC1Jcm.99


Offline whitejc

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (05/05/17)...
« Reply #29 on: May 05, 2017, 08:43:15 AM »
 
Column: Should Fulham ring the changes for the Sheffield Wednesday tie?

Columnist Jack Collins discusses whether Slavisa Jokanovic should rotate his squad as they play Sheffield Wednesday on Sunday ahead of the play-offs

There’s a lot of talk that the playoffs are all but confirmed, although I’m sure I can’t be the only Fulham fan scared that I’m going to look at my phone at 12.10 on Sunday afternoon in Sheffield to see that Leeds are already 3-0 up at Wigan.

It only goes to add that slight extra edge to the question that seems to be on everybody’s lips therefore, in terms of what Fulham should do about their starting lineup at Sheffield Wednesday.

There’s obviously some players that pick themselves – Marcus Bettinelli should start between the posts, and few people would question sticking with the centre-back pairing of Tim Ream and Tomas Kalas, especially after the latter mentioned this week that it was game time together that was contributing to the increasing success that the two of them have had as a pair, of late.

There’s also no way that the team can function without Kevin McDonald at the base of the midfield, with his screening presence as crucial as ever for Fulham’s defensive solidity. That said, there can be questions asked of pretty much every other position.

Ryan Fredericks is such a potent offensive weapon down the right when he’s on song that it’s perhaps a brilliant time to give him a little rest, and bring in Denis Odoi for a game on the right. Given Fredericks’ occasional tendency to have a little rush of blood to the head, I think this is a natural swap.


Tussle: Idrissa Sylla battles with and Kevin McDonald (R)

Scott Malone and Ryan Sessegnon have been rotating all year, but with the latter’s ascension to left wing in the last few games, the former Cardiff man seems to have the spot all nailed down.

There’s also no real look of fatigue about Malone, so chances are that he keeps his place.

Stefan Johansen, as I’ve discussed before, is Fulham’s key link in the midfield, bridging the gap between defence and midfield, and there is no natural like-for- like first team replacement, but he did take a knock at the end of the Huddersfield game and looked slightly tired towards the end of last Saturday’s derby, so it might be worth having a think about giving someone like Dennis Adeniran a run out, just to blood some potential replacements should any injury scares occur.

The same can be said of Tom Cairney. Whilst Cairney is Fulham’s talisman and we all want to see him play, we could really do without him getting crocked, and it might be worth experimenting with someone like Lucas Piazon through the centre to see if he is up to task.

Some say this is Gohi Cyriac’s moment, but I foresee Chris Martin starting on Sunday and leading the line, which I think is probably the best shout.


 Goal time: Tom Cairney and Stefan Johansen celebrate (Photo: Paul Burgman/Press-Photos.com)

Fresh from suspension, his article this week on the Fulham website showed a man itching to get back into the side and prove himself, and Martin offers such an important dimension in hold up play which could have made such a difference against Brentford.

That alternative option will be crucial to Fulham in the playoff run and getting the big man scoring again would be an ideal situation for Slavisa heading into such a crucial period for the club. In the same vein, giving Kebano a start on the left would be a good move, allowing others to take a well-earned rest and keeping the squad ticking over as a whole.

My starting XI then, would be Bettinelli; Odoi, Kalas, Ream, Malone; McDonald, Adeniran; Kebano, Piazon, Aluko; Martin. Not only does it give us a wealth of options off the bench, but bloods some important players into the fold and opens up further options for the playoff push if any injury crises were to occur.

I think Slavisa will ring slightly fewer changes than that, if I’m honest, and all I hope is that for such a small squad, we have the fitness and ability to see out the rest of the season without any major injuries to worry about. If we stay at full-strength, there’s no reason why Fulham can’t take this season all the way to its dramatic climax.

Jack is the latest incarnation of GWL's Fulham fan blogger. He's also the Editor of Fulhamish and a regular on the associated weekly podcast. When not talking about Fulham, Jack provides live match commentary and social media for the UEFA Champions League and Europa League websites. You can find him on Twitter right here: @JackJCollins or his website: www.jackjcollins.co.uk.



http://www.getwestlondon.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/column-should-fulham-ring-changes-12986899

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (05/05/17)...
« Reply #30 on: May 05, 2017, 08:45:16 AM »
 
 Chelsea transfer talks: Blues locked in negotiations over defender deal

TOMAS KALAS could be set for a permanent stay at Fulham.


Tomas Kalas: Fulham are in talks with Chelsea over a deal

Kalas has impressed for the Whites on loan from Chelsea this season.

He moved to Craven Cottage on a season-long deal last summer and has shone for Slavisa Jokanovic’s side.

Starsport understands Fulham have now opened talks with Chelsea over a permanent deal.

Kalas, 23, has barely had a look in since joining the Blues in 2010.

He’s made just two appearances for the club, spending most of his time at Stamford Bridge out on loan.

The defender is contracted to Chelsea until 2018 but he could now be set for a permanent stay with the club’s west London rivals Fulham.

Kalas could earn a second consecutive promotion this season.

The Czech international was on loan at Middlesbrough last term as they went up in second place behind champions Burnley.

And with Fulham set for a spot in the Championship play-offs, the centre-back could repeat the feat with the Cottagers.



http://www.dailystar.co.uk/sport/football/611554/Tomas-Kalas-Fulham-Chelsea-transfer

Offline whitejc

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (05/05/17)...
« Reply #31 on: May 05, 2017, 08:49:05 AM »
 
Why Liverpool target Sessegnon should reject Anfield speculation and remain at Fulham

The talented teenager looks to have the footballing world at his feet, but he should stay and develop his craft at his boyhood club

If they're good enough, they're old enough; an age-old mantra tied to the most promising starlets in the game who are entrusted with a spot in the first-team at their respective club. At present, they don't come much younger, or more promising, than Fulham wing-back Ryan Sessegnon, who at 16 is being linked with a summer switch to the Premier League elite.

Having made his first-team debut for the London club shortly after his 15th birthday, Sessegnon has established himself as a regular in Slavisa Jokanovic's Fulham side, making 29 appearances in all competitions to date, and became the first scorer in the Football League born after the year 2000 earlier in the campaign.

His majestic performances down the left flank at Craven Cottage this term have naturally led to top-flight interest, with Liverpool supposedly leading the race to secure a deal for the England Under-19 star. Manchester United and Tottenham are also thought to be interested in the winger's services, while Fulham have already supposedly rejected two offers from London rivals Arsenal. Should Sessegnon want to continue his development at a steady pace, though, without the pressure of trophy-expectant powerhouses, remaining at Fulham seems a sensible option. For now, at least.

At Fulham, he has a manager who trusts him. Jokanovic's belief in Sessegnon's talent has been the platform of the defender's success in his rapid rise, and he is said to be fighting behind the scenes to tie his future to the club. He understands the club's limitations, however, and success in the play-offs may be the deciding factor in whether or not the Fulham boss can keep hold of his star.

"In Ryan Sessegnon we are talking about one of the most talented young players in the country and he impressed many, many people in the games he played this season," Jokanovic said of his player, following his inclusion in the PFA Championship Team of the Season.

One of the people he has impressed is Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp, who is in the market for a long-term solution to his left-back problem.

While James Milner has proved an able deputy to the left-back berth, he does not possess the energy nor the threat in attack which Sessegnon provides - the Fulham wing-back has struck seven goals this season, his debut campaign, more than former Southampton and Tottenham defender-turned-forward Gareth Bale, who Sessegnon has widely been likened to, managed in his breakthrough campaign at St Mary's. He has also registered 15 key passes, three assists, and completed 26 of his 40 take-ons.

The teenager's pace is also a major asset, especially compared to the heavy legs of Milner, and he has proved time and time again that he has the positional intelligence needed to defend one-on-one with opposing forwards. Sessegnon is a player beyond his years, and there is little doubt he has the ability, and the attitude, to succeed in the English top-tier. Liverpool may be a perfectly suited club, too. However, with greater status comes greater responsibility, something which could detract from the sparkle in the defender's game as a 16-year-old, and a move to a top four club should be put on hold, unless a transfer included a loan deal back to Fulham.

“My ambition is to be the best I can be,” Sessegnon told Fulham TV earlier in the campaign. “The opportunities I’ve had this season have been great."

Those opportunities are a result of raw talent and hard graft, something which Sessegnon has applied since signing for Fulham as a nine-year-old. However, circumstance has played a large part. Should Sessegnon opt to continue his development at the top of the Premier League he risks slowing his progress, while turning his back on what has so far provided a platform for him to flourish.

"On a personal level I just want help the team gain promotion to the Premier League where we belong," the winger continued in his interviewed with the club. Whether Fulham return to the Premier League is yet to be seen, as they prepare for one of the most unpredictable formats of competition in football - the Championship play-offs. Sessegnon, though, is almost certainly at the start of what is to be an extraordinary career which will take him as far as he wants it to.

It's reason enough not to rush the initial step up to what many consider as the greatest league in Europe, then, and sign a professional contract at Craven Cottage upon his 17th birthday.



http://www.goal.com/en-gb/news/683/main/2017/05/05/35224482/-