Who is Ryan Sessegnon, the Fulham teenager linked with a move to the Premier League?


The youngster has been enhancing his reputation in the heart of the Cottagers defence. He has been linked with Premier League big guns Manchester City, Manchester United, Arsenal and Liverpool.

The Gunners had a bid rejected last January, but all have reignited there interest in the starlet, sparking a bidding war.

But who is the rising starlet? Sam May gives you the lowdown of all you need to know…


Name: Ryan Sessegnon

Age: 16

Place of birth: Wandsworth, England

Position: Left-back

Club: Fulham

Born in Wandsworth, Sessegnon joined Fulham’s academy 2008, aged eight. He joined the club alongside twin brother Steven who also remains with the Cottagers.

Progressing through the youth ranks, his favoured position is left-back, but he can also play further forward.

A regular with Fulham’s Under-18s last season at the age of 15, Sessegnon was promoted to the first-team in pre-season. He made his full debut in the 3-2 victory as Fulham beat Leyton Orient in the EFL Cup back in August.

His first league start was against Leeds United, and scored his first goal just four days later in a 2-2 draw with Cardiff.

Becoming the first player born in 2000 to score in the professional English leagues, he also became the youngest player to score in a Championship match at 16 years and 94 days.

Style of play

Having risen through the England youth ranks, he has a similar playing style to Danny Rose.

Like the Tottenham left-back, young Sessegnon is pacy, athletic and a great crosser of the ball.

He previously featured in the Under-17 European Championships this summer as the Young Lions bowed out in the quarter-finals. Sessegnon has an eye for goal having scored for England Under-19s in the win over Luxembourg.

He has also drawn comparisons to Gareth Bale who started his career as a Championship fullback.

What they have said about him

Fulham midfielder Kevin McDonald is keen for Sessegnon to remain at Craven Cottage rather than making Premier League jump so soon.

“Ryan’s at a great club to learn his trade and progress,’ McDonald said. “The experience he’s getting in games and training with the players every day is good for him.

“I’m sure he will continue kicking on. He has everything in his locker to be a top player and it’s up to him how he does it.”

Fulham manager Slaviša Jokanović, who handed Sessegnon his debut had previously stated: “He is a real winner and he is just 16 years and three months. He is a real young player”.

“He is a very interesting project as a player, but it is better not to put him under any pressure.”


Why Paris Saint-Germain must sign Antoine Griezmann


PSG must beat Manchester United, Manchester City and Arsenal in the race to sign the Atletico Madrid’s Antoine Griezmann, writes Sam May.

The French champions should look to add the Les Bleus international and make him their new superstar, after they failed to land Barcelona’s Neymar last summer.

Having signed a new contract at Athletico until 2021, Griezmann, 25 however, has a release clause of €100 million. There is no doubt the 2016 UEFA European Championship player of the tournament and top scorer, would be the perfect fit at the Parc Des Princes, and they can afford him.

Griezmann is one of the best players in the world at this moment. He is up there with Barcelona pair Lionel Messi and Neymar, as well as Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale. PSG need a superstar of their own.

Unai Emery will be hopeful of luring the former Real Sociedad star, when the transfer window opens next month. There is a lack of investment of domestic players in the PSG set-up since the arrival of Qatar Sports Investments (QSI). They want global appeal and Griezmann would attract fans on a global scale, not just in the domestic French market.

Born in Mâcon, he could potentially be a future Ballon d’Or winner and is expected to be a major star on domestic and international level for the next 10 years. PSG’s would have the chance to put their massive financial muscle towards acquiring a player who cant only deliver on the pitch now but could also bring great commercial success off it as well.

He would provide 20+ goals per season, and help the inconsistent Edinson Cavani improve his game in front of goal. With Angel Di Maria and Lucas Moura failing to reach their full potential, Griezmann could be the answer. PSG will have to move swiftly as the other European big guns circle.

France’s recent announcement that only French nationals will represent the country going forward could be rubber stamped with him moving to the star team in the French capital.

James Bree: The man looking to follow in the footsteps of Stones and Holgate


The young right-back could be the next big success, writes Sam May.

Bree, 19, has emerged as the latest sensation to emerge from the Barnsley academy which has seen Manchester City’s John Stones and Everton’s Mason Holgate graduate from. Wakefield-born Bree, who is 6ft, has great awareness, calm under pressure and is good in the air.

There is no question the youngster has bags of potential, but has suffered for regular playing time due to injuries. He is a mature and a rare talent, who will sure have Premier League scouts already flocking. With great crossing ability, he also has a passing technique like an already experienced full back.

He also has prefect timing and knows when the best time to deliver a cross into the danger is, so he is able to read the game well. The pacy player is continuing to grow and is putting injuries behind him as he looks to improve further.

Being a versatile player, he can also play in central midfield, and is similar to that of Tottenham’s Eric Dier. Bree, became Barnsley’s second youngest player at the age of 17, back in 2014, in his clubs 3-2 defeat to Queens Park Rangers.

Valued at £2 million, he is a bargain and a risk worth taking. Expect his price tag to rise in a year or two when clubs come calling and cement interest in the bright starlet. He has a contract at Oakwell until June 30 2017.

He has the attitude and ability and will continue to develop into a young star, having made 14 appearances in all competitions so far this season.

Teams such as Manchester City, Manchester United, Liverpool, Everton could benefit from his services. Swansea, may also be interested having snapped up 22-year-old centre-back Alfie Mawson from Barnsley last summer.

Dropping Loris Karius is not the answer


Jürgen Klopp is in dilemma whether or not he should leave out Liverpool’s under fire goalkeeper, writes Sam May.

The German shot stopper who swapped Mainz for Merseyside in the summer in a £4.7 million move, has endured a tough start to Premier League life, making a number of high profile blunders which have cost Liverpool precious points in their pursuit of Chelsea.

Karius needs to adapt to the English game, however in a results business time and points made are of the essence. Liverpool now stand six points behind leaders Chelsea, whereas they were top only three weeks ago. Failure at Bournemouth and at West Ham, has seen five points dropped and six goals against.

There is no question, he is one of the best promising young goalkeepers. He was rated second best keeper in the Bundesliga behind Manuel Neuer. But unlike the Bayern Munich stopper, he doesn’t have a solid defence in front of him.

Being a continental goalkeeper he prefers to punch, rather than catch. The position of goalkeeper is unique and continually in the spotlight. The Neville brothers have been openly critical, yet BBC pundit Chris Sutton and former Arsenal goalkeeper Jens Lehmann, have jumped to his defence. None of this really matters as it’s the decision of the Liverpool manager that counts. He has publicly supported his under-fire keeper throughout.

Liverpool should be working on their defensive set-up on the training ground whilst leaving the keeper to continue to improve his game. Another angle is the current goalkeeping coaching set-up. Is this suitable for Karius?

The Reds have a tricky mid-week encounter away at Middlesborough and then less than a week later a true baptism of fire for Karius if selected, his first Merseyside derby, away at Everton. These two games will surely make him or break him.

What next in the glittering career of Steven George Gerrard?


Fittingly this article is written on the same date that Steven Gerrard scored one of the best and most dramatic of his 186 goals for Liverpool. The clue: “oh you beauty – what a hit son, what a hit” bellowed out by Andy Gray at Anfield when the two goal cushion needed to see off Olympiacos with just minutes to spare saw Gerrard’s half volley fly past the despairing Antonios Nikopolidis, diving to his left. The game was won, and what followed in Istanbul, is folklore.

But what next for the out of work master?

To say he is a Liverpool legend is an understatement. With 710 appearances and 185 goals to add to the one above for the Reds, Gerrard has worn the shirt – literally, almost all of his playing career.

What can he bring to Liverpool now?

With 2 FA Cup, 3 League Cups, 1 UEFA Cup and that famous Champions League win in Istanbul he can bring a wealth of experience.

He knows what it’s like to join as a starry eyed dreaming eight-year-old, and work your way through the youth, then Academy system. To finally break into the “big time“ – but keep both feet firmly on the ground. Never once did he demand higher wages. As he stated once to a young player who was also making his mark “you put in the performances and the club will come to you – you won’t have to ask”.

That is how he became the top earner – through the reward of hard work and dedication to the club he loved, and still loves, so it would be a wise man who taps into his love, dedication and experience of all things Liverpool FC. He has made it public that he wants to be back in the “family”, and is taking his coaching qualifications.

Jürgen Klopp will soon have a vacancy as Michael Beale, the under 23 manager has given notice that he is to move to São Paulo in Brazil to take up the assistant managers position. Klopp, and the club should welcome Gerrard to sign on the dotted line without hesitation.

What price the experience he can bring, the model for all aspiring first teamers from eight-years-old to the under 23 side, and the drive, determination, will to win and bring honours to the club? – Priceless, that’s the price! He can learn from Klopp and his team, but so can they. Gerrard is the fabric of the club and that under 23 role is beaconing!

Kasper Dolberg: Ajax starlet has drawn comparisons to Dennis Bergkamp


Ajax’s shining star Kasper Dolberg, is the latest wonderkid to have teams across Europe circling for his signature, writes Sam May.

Dolberg, 19, has drawn comparisons to former Ajax and Arsenal striker Dennis Bergkamp, but has also been likened to that of Zlatan Ibrahimović and even Marco van Basten.

The young Danish striker has netted eight times so far this season in 12 appearances. He is quick, good with the ball at his feet and has great aerial prowess belying his 6ft 1 stature. Having great technique, he can frighten defenders.

Being right-footed he has an eye for goal and is very accurate. He became the Eredivise’s joint top scorer last month when he bagged a hatrick in just 37 minutes, in the win over NEC Nijmegen. The No 25 was born in Silkeborg and was spotted by 73-year-old scout John Steen Olsen, the man who unearthed both Christian Eriksen and Viktor Ficher.

Being a versatile player, Dolberg can also play on the wings just like when he played for the Ajax Under 19s team, but there is no question his best position is his favoured strikers role. He has filled the void left by Arkadiusz Milik who departed for Napoli for £30million in August.

One of the first names on the team sheet, he made his first league start against Sparta Rotterdam before scoring a brace in the draw against Roda JC. The Danish star made his international debut in the 4-1 victory over Kazakhstan. He has a contract with Ajax until 2021, but Manchester City and Everton are said to be monitoring him closely.

Like Van Basten, Bergkamp and Ibrahimović, Dolberg will potentially move away from the AmsterdamArena and there is no question he has bags of potential to make it to the top.