Ivan Perisic gives verdict on ‘mentoring’ Ryan Sessegnon at Tottenham Hotspur
Ryan Sessegnon and Ivan Perisic came into the 2022-23 season as two of Antonio Conte’s preferred options to play down the left flank, especially after Sergio Reguilon joined Atletico Madrid on a loan deal later in the summer transfer window.
The 21-year-old Englishman, like Perisic, has played as an attacking winger in the past, but the two know very well that they have to play in a more reserved position in Conte’s 3-4-2-1 set-up. Sessegnon started against Southampton in our opening Premier League game of the campaign in August.
To the surprise of many, he scored via a header and helped us on our way to a 4-1 win against the Saints. Speaking after the game (h/t Football.London) [as covered by TTLAB], he claimed that it was advice from the former Inter Milan and Bayern Munich star that helped him score.
“Even for the goal today, he [Perisic] literally told me get in the back post and you will score. That helped me today. He said Kyle Walker-Peters is quite small at the back post so if a ball goes in make sure you are there to head it in.”
From that day, it became clear that Perisic would be helping out his English teammate if and when he needed, for the youngster to improve his game. The Croatia international has since become a regular starter for us, while Sessegnon continues to play an important – mostly from the bench.
Speaking in his pre-match press conference before our UEFA Champions League showdown against Eintracht Frankfurt tonight, Perisic was asked to give his verdict on mentoring the former Hoffenheing wideman. He responded (h/t Football.London):
“I know when I was younger, when I came in Germany, a lot of older players helped me because I didn’t speak German. They came to me and they showed me what I needed to do better and where I had to improve and to be better and help with the team. “
“If I see that someone is not doing well or someone can do even better, then why not, I’m here to help also the younger players and this is important for the team.”
It remains to be seen who Conte will start down the left flank for us. Sessegnon started down the left flank against Leicester City in our 6-2 win last month, while Perisic played down the right flank with Emerson Royal benched.
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The Brazil international is set to miss our next three domestic games so it is unlikely that Conte rests him tonight in a European encounter. Perisic has the experience but Sessegnon has shown that he can contribute in meaningful ways if given the chance.