Belfast Telegraph

Sports Awards

Home Sport Football

Ryan Sessegnon could go to the World Cup with England, claims Fulham boss

Slavisa Jokanovic feels teenager Sessegnon could be useful in Russia.

Fulham head coach Slavisa Jokanovic believes Ryan Sessegnon is ready for the international stage after he scored again in an impressive 2-1 win at Derby.

The 17-year-old bagged his 10th goal in 12 matches and Jokanovic has no doubt he could cope with an England call-up.

Fulham controlled the first half and could have put the game beyond Derby who could not get to grips with Tom Cairney in midfield.

The opening goal in the 10th minute came when Stefan Johansen lobbed a corner back into the box and Aleksandar Mitrovic pounced when the ball bounced to him off Craig Forsyth.

It was Johansen who wrong-footed Derby’s defence again in the 22nd minute with a back-heel that set up Sessegnon to power a shot across Scott Carson from 10 yards.

Mitrovic was close to a second just before half-time but Derby had hope when Tom Huddlestone fired low through a crowded area in the 68th minute when a free-kick was only half cleared.

Derby almost snatched a point when Matej Vydra had a shot deflected behind in stoppage time and Richard Keogh had a shot pushed over by Marcus Bettinelli.

But it was another good day for Sessegnon and Jokanovic said: “I started working with him when he was 16 years and two months or something like that and I believe he can be part of the English national team for the World Cup.

“I cannot recommend him to people but nobody can make mistakes with this kid. Experience is important but he is a really expert player for his age at this moment.

“I will repeat, if the national team don’t take this decision this time, they will push him for the next European tournament.

“It’s evident that if he doesn’t have any injury problems, he will be a top player.

“He is not a kid, he is a man and he gives myself, the club and his team-mates many things and we try to support him and make him still better than he is right now.”

Derby manager Gary Rowett said: “Certainly from the start of the game we were very, very good, very aggressive and made it difficult for Fulham to play out.

“But once again, the reality is we made two very poor mistakes for the goals and from starting the game really well, we are 2-0 down at home.

“If I’m being honest, in the 10 minutes before half-time we looked a bit sorry for ourselves, two or three players had their heads down and we started to feel it wasn’t going to be our day and I don’t want that. I’ve got no time for that, we have to show fight.”

Daily News Headlines Newsletter

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox.

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph