Antonio Conte may have discovered a new secret weapon at Tottenham Hotspur after Ryan Sessegnon delivered an exciting cameo on his return from injury this weekend.
Spurs moved into seventh place with a 2-1 come-from-behind victory over Leeds United on Sunday evening and the Italian will surely be buoyed by what he saw from several of his key players, including Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Sergio Reguilon, who both scored rare goals.
He spent last season on loan to Bundesliga outfit Hoffenheim, where he proved to be a reliable influence at left wing-back and almost as if it were by chance, it’s a system that the Lilywhites will be building upon under Conte.
Sessegnon provided two goals and three assists, whilst averaging two tackles, 1.3 interceptions and 0.7 key passes per game in the German top-flight, as per WhoScored, which suggests not only is he a threat going forward but he can do some very solid defensive duties, too.
Since October’s international break, the young gem has been stuck on the treatment table but after returning to training last week, Conte selected him in his matchday squad before bringing him on in the place of the knackered Reguilon in the 79th minute.
In just 11 minutes, he enjoyed ten touches of the ball, made two of his three passes, put in an interception and won 100% of his aerial duels, via SofaScore.
As quickfire cameos go, that was certainly a major source of encouragement, particularly as he played left wing-back and that’s likely going to be his best role under Conte going forward.
Once dubbed a “big, big talent” by former Cottagers teammate Stefan Johansen, it’s time for Sessegnon to finally repay the investment chairman Daniel Levy made in him over two years ago.
The £18m-rated wide man was also lauded by the Evening Standard’s Dan Kilpatrick as being “lively and encouraging” in his post-Leeds column, whilst further reports claim Sessegnon has “impressed” Conte on the training pitch.
All the stars are aligning for the rarely-seen 21-year-old to play a big part under the Italian but only time will tell if he can actually kick on this time.