Nuno Espirito Santo has lots of decisions to make as he takes the reins at Tottenham. Finding a home for Ryan Sessegnon may be beyond his abilities.
Ryan Sessegnon was tipped for big things upon his arrival at Tottenham. Unfortunately for the young Englishman, he’s struggled to make anything resembling a meaningful impact at Spurs during his brief time at the club. The arrival of Nuno Espirito Santo as Tottenham’s new manager gives Sessegnon another chance to make his mark.
The problem for Sessegnon is that his preferred left back position is still quite crowded. Ben Davies lacks the ability to make dynamic runs forward, but he’s regarded as one of the better defensive fullbacks in England. The Welshman can also play as a left-footed centre back in a back three which adds to his potential value for the club next season.
Sergio Reguilon, in sharp contrast, can be an absolute dynamo going forward. His excellent pace and terrific crossing abilities make him a nightmare for opposing defenders to handle. The issues with the Spaniard’s game all lie at the other end of the pitch. He lacks the size to really stand up against physical Premier League attackers and his understanding of defensive positioning leaves quite a bit to be desired.
Does that actually open up a door for Sessegnon?
At first blush, the incomplete nature of the games of both Reguilon and Davies would seem to open up a door for Sessegnon as he returns from his Bundesliga loan. He may not be quite as dynamic as Reguilon moving forward, but he is a superior defensive presence.
Conversely, he’s not as solid at the back as Davies, but he’s light years ahead when it comes to carrying the ball forward into attack. If Tottenham wanted one conventional left back to rely on every week it’s very possible Sessegnon could be the choice.
That’s not the situation at Hotspur Way according to Alasdair Gold of Football London. He believes that Davies is likely to stay put because he can play as a defensive fullback in a back four or as centre back in a back three. The general idea would be to have Davis sit deep in either formation. In a back four, that would give a right back like Matt Doherty the license to provide attacking width further up the pitch.
Reguilon will be utilized in the same manner as Doherty on the left. That will require the acquisition of a more defensive-minded right back, but rumours connecting Spurs with Japanese defender Takehiro Tomiyasu make it clear that’s something Spurs are prioritizing.
Add it all up and Sessegnon still looks like a player without a home. Gold speculates that he could carve out meaningful playing time further forward under Espirito Santo, but that presents the young Englishman with a host of other talented players to compete with.
That’s why another high-profile loan for Sessegnon appears to be in the cards. It’s a mildly disappointing short-term reality for a player with such prodigious potential.