It is not a secret that Manchester United are keen to acquire a left-back during the upcoming transfer window. Yes, signing a central midfielder remains the club’s biggest priority. But Jose Mourinho won’t close the door to add a new left-back if the chance arises.
The Portuguese tactician has been watching several players of late. There have been reports regarding Celtic’s Kieran Tierney, as well as Juventus’ Alex Sandro. Aaron Martin (Espanyol) was an alternative earlier this season, too, but he does not appear to be an option anymore. And there is always talk regarding the potential arrival of Tottenham’s Danny Rose. But so far, nothing has happened. And based on recent information, Manchester United are ready to discard all of those alternatives if they find themselves with the chance of signing Fulham’s wonderkid Ryan Sessegnon.
If you haven’t heard from Sessegnon by now, then you must be living under a rock. The Fulham star, England U-21 international and fan favourite at Craven Cottage could jump to a Premier League side during the upcoming transfer window. And it seems everything would depend on whether Fulham gets promoted to England’s top-flight or not. But if they are forced to remain in the Championship for one more year, then United will certainly make a play for the 17-year-old.
And to be honest, he would fit perfectly at Old Trafford. Even though he is not old enough to drink yet, he is old enough to make an instant impact in Manchester United’s first team as soon as he joins the team.
First, one of the biggest calling cards for Sessegnon is his versatility; he can play all over the left side of the pitch. If we translate his abilities to Mourinho’s tactical scheme, he could either deploy at left-back or left wing. But considering the alternatives on the wing, all signs would indicate that Sessegnon would rival Ashley Young for the starting LB spot. He might be just 17, but Sessegnon is just too good for the Championship.
Another thing to note regarding Sessegnon is his scoring ability. And if we judge him due to his stats, then it does not seem far-fetched to imagine him on a more advanced role. Sessegnon has already netted 15 goals for Fulham during the current season, and his uncanned attacking ability certainly give him a plus. There is enough talent there to make him a top winger sooner than later:
His arrival would certainly trigger several departures, though. Most notably Luke Shaw and Daley Blind, since both can also play at the left-back. Anthony Martial could also leave, and that would free up some competition for a wing role. But let’s get back to the left-back spot. Right now, Sessegnon seems like the better alternative of the three. Shaw’s attitude and confidence problems have prevented him from being the player he once was, while Young is already 33 and beginning to enter the downside of his career. For both the present and the future of the club, Sessegnon seems like the best alternative.
Manchester United are not alone on the race to sign the talented 17-year-old, though. Tottenham Hotspur have been tracking him down during the entire season, and have had scouts watch him play during the entire season. The Spurs see Sessegnon as the perfect replacement for Danny Rose, who will probably leave during the upcoming transfer window.
Only time will tell whether United will be able to complete a move for Sessegnon. But at least on paper, he seems like a player The Red Devils should pursue at all costs.