Reports: Manchester United to rival Tottenham for sensational English wonderkid
Could the player described as "the future of English football" be headed to Old Trafford?
What's the story?
Manchester United have been losing out on some of the best youngsters in the nation - very unlike their genuine heydays of the '50's, '60's and '90s - and are reportedly interested in correcting the situation.
As per Sky, United are all set to rival Tottenham Hotspur in their pursuit of English wonderkid Ryan Sessegnon. The 17-year-old Fulham left-back has been sensational in the Championship for the Cottagers and has attracted attention from larger clubs across the nation ever since his debut for the London-side aged just 16 years and 81 days.
In case you didn't know
The young left-back from Roehampton is built in the best tradition of attacking left-footed fullbacks and even scored the winner on his FA Cup debut against Cardiff. By then, he'd already scored in the Championship (against Leeds United) making him the first professional footballer in the English leagues to have been born in the 2000s to score a goal in a first-team game and the youngest player ever to have scored in a Championship match.
These performances attracted worldwide attention with Gazetto dello Sport and Sports Illustrated naming him as one of the top 30 and top-20 Under 20 players in Europe,
He scored 7 goals in 30 appearances (all competitions) and was so good both defensively and moving forward that he was named in the PFA Championship Team of the Year last season!
The heart of the
While there had been interest from across Europe for the young full-back from across Europe, Sessegnon signed his first professional contract with the club he'd spent 8 years as a youth teamer and gave a far more mature explanation for this contract than one might have expected if one's been carried away by the stereotype of greedy young footballers all around: "last season I got a lot of opportunities so I want to continue that. When you are young you just want to play as many games as you can."
Fret not if you've not seen the youngster in action... here's a compilation of his best bits:
The lad can play, eh?
The pacy left-back has reminded many admirers of Ashley Cole in his pomp, and it's no wonder Jose Mourinho's interest has been piqued. The Sky reports suggest that if United do succeed in signing before the close of the transfer window, they'd be willing to send him back on loan at Fulham itself; and are willing to duke it out with Tottenham for the youngster's signature.
The same reports, though, also suggest that Fulham's owner, Shahid Khan, is adamant he won't sell his most prized asset - even if the offers rise to £25 million!
Whoever does get the lad, though, is sure to have the left side of their defence sorted for the foreseeable future.