Ryan Sessegnon has been busy since firing the Cottagers to the Premier League last season.
The Fulham star has bulked up in the summer, putting on a stone of muscle to deal with the rigours of top-flight football.
What a year it has been for the Fulham sensation.
The England Under-21 International defied his younger years as he tore the Championship to pieces in 2017-18.
His fine form has seen him nominated for BBC’s Young Sports Personality of the Year award.
? Ryan Sessegnon is one of ten athletes nominated for the BBC’s Young Sports Personality of the Year.
— Fulham Football Club (@FulhamFC) October 15, 2018
With the season he had, you’d think he was the finished article already.
Well, unless you’re Ryan Sessegnon that is.
The forward has been spending hours bulking up in the gym so he can cope with the demands of the Premier League.
And after a quiet start to life in the Premier League thus far, he now feels he’s ready to cope with the challenge.
“I’ve been getting in the gym a lot this season.”
“I feel bigger, I feel faster, I feel stronger. You can see in some of the games, my speed has got me out of a bit of trouble.”
“I knew I was going to be playing in the Premier League, obviously watching it, it’s very physical in the position I play and you need to be strong.”
Sessegnon has also changed his diet to improve his physical strength.
“We do yoga once a fortnight. I’ve also improved the way I eat.”
“I don’t eat raw eggs or have steak for breakfast, nothing like that.”
“I just make sure I eat things that will help me.”
The numbers behind Sessegnon’s breakthrough season are remarkable.
The 2017-18 Championship Player Of The Season scored 15 goals and created 49 chances for his teammates, including 6 assists.
His positive attacking play saw him complete 1103 passes, with a pass accuracy of 75%, 71% of which were forward passes.
So how crucial was a season in the EFL for the starlet’s development?
“It was massive for my development, having a manager who had faith in me to play week in week out in a very demanding league.”
“A league where you had a game every three days.”
“What I learnt playing in that league has helped me to start games in the Premier League as well.”
Future England star?
Sessegnon has been hotly tipped to be a future England International, although he has seen the likes of Mason Mount and Jadon Sancho elevated to the senior team ahead of him.
The 18-year-old admits that talk of a senior international call-up is keeping him motivated, after helping the Under-21’s book their place at Euro 2019 last week, with a 7-0 win over Andorra.
— Ryan Sessegnon (@RyanSessegnon) October 11, 2018
“It keeps you focused, it makes you happy knowing they are thinking of you but it drives you to be better and improve your game so you can get into the senior squad.
“You saw in the World Cup they had a specific way of playing. It was controlled possession, a lot of attacking entries in the final third and you can see that with all the age groups.”
“Gareth has a way of playing and you can see that in all the age groups. It’s exciting to be an English player at the moment.”
“With the Under-21s we’ve not got another major tournament with the national team and it’s another opportunity to win another tournament.”
Fulham’s season so far
Fulham were promoted last season via the Championship Play-Offs but have found life tough in the top tier so far.
The Cottagers sit 17th with just 1 win in 8 matches. Slavisha Jokanovic’s side went into the international break off the back of a 5-1 drubbing at home to Arsenal.
The Whites’ main concern so far has been the goals against column. They have conceded 21 goals in the Premier League already, the most in the division.
Sessegnon though, is confident his side will improve.
“We haven’t done too badly, but as a team we need to defend better, we’ve conceded a lot of goals so far.”
“We need to tighten up. I feel like in time that will come, there’s been a lot of new players brought into the club so it’s going to take a while for them to get used to how the gaffer wants to play. It’s going to be a long process.”
— Ryan Sessegnon (@RyanSessegnon) October 7, 2018