In-demand teenager Ryan Sessegnon is dreaming of the Premier League, with Fulham battling to finish in the Championship’s play-off places.
Sessegnon, considered one of the hottest properties in English football, has hit 13 league goals this season for Fulham, who sit fifth in the table.
The 17-year-old has been linked with Real Madrid, as well as Premier League giants including Liverpool, Tottenham and Manchester United, with many comparing the versatile left-sided player to Gareth Bale.
Indeed, Goal understands that Fulham rejected a £25 million bid from Spurs for Sessegnon last year, prior to Sessegnon signing a new deal at Craven Cottage.
And the youngster, who followed in the footsteps of Spurs duo Harry Kane and Dele Alli in claiming the Young Player of the Year prize at the London Football Awards, is focusing on helping Fulham get to the top flight as speculation over his future continues to mount.
“It’s a great feeling for me, to win two awards is a brilliant achievement, but credit to the team,” Sessegnon told Perform at the London Football Awards. “The way the team plays is good and is helping me to become a better player.
“I think for any young player playing outside the Premier League, the dream is to be in the Premier League. So I think winning this award makes me want to keep improving as a player.
“If you look at those two young English players [Kane and Alli], they’ve done it at a young age and they’re doing it currently in the Premier League.
“I’m no different to any other player, I just want to play at the highest possible level.”
Congratulations for these deserved awards, @RyanSessegnon . There will be more if you keep working hard. A proud moment for the @FulhamFC academy. #LFA18 pic.twitter.com/HOmPPzosq6
— Slavisa Jokanovic (@Jokanovic) March 1, 2018
Bale made his name at Spurs before earning a move to Real Madrid, with Sessegnon accepting it is an honour to be likened to the Wales star.
“I think ever since he was at Tottenham as a young left-back, I’ve watched him for many years,” Sessegnon added.
“People compare me to him and it’s great to be compared to someone like him. I’m happy to be myself and keep pushing forward.
“Right now I wouldn’t say I have a favourite position, I like to play anywhere on the pitch. But I’m enjoying my role at left wing at the moment.”
The London Football Awards Manager of the Year! pic.twitter.com/oLmOxoKVNw
— Crystal Palace F.C. (@CPFC) March 2, 2018
Former Fulham boss Roy Hodgson won the Manager of the Year prize, having led Crystal Palace out of the Premier League’s relegation zone, and the 70-year-old feels Sessegnon has what it takes to make it at the top level.
“He’s got enormous potential, he’s playing at a club that is very close to my heart,” said Hodgson.
“A very, very great club and a club which has a great possibility this year of getting back into the Premier League, where they were when I was managing them and where I’d like to see them again.
“Players like Ryan Sessegnon are going to help the manager [Slavisa Jokanovic], who has done an excellent job. They’re going to help him and the club, I hope, to achieve that goal.
“It was very good to see him receive the award. I was impressed with the way he spoke, with the maturity he has shown and the humility with which he spoke.
“It’s important he continues to play well between now and the end of the season because, like ourselves, everything will be decided in the next couple of months and we are playing for big stakes.”