Bad Business! Pundit slams Levy

The Lilywhites appear to have dropped a big clanger than the signing of Emerson Royal with one underwhelming addition

Change is afoot at Tottenham Hotspur, with manager Ange Postecoglou ushering in the start of a new era following a turbulent last few years for the club under the likes of Jose Mourinho and Antonio Conte.

Despite losing Harry Kane to Bayern Munich, the Lilywhites have enjoyed an unbeaten start to the new Premier League season with three wins and one draw thus far, with the former Celtic boss having already put his stamp on proceedings during his early tenure.

Those tweaks and alterations have seen long-serving dud Eric Dier cast aside, while former skipper Hugo Lloris is also seemingly no longer in the picture, despite having earned a place in the club’s 25-man Premier League squad.

It is also been a frustrating start to the campaign for Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg who is yet to start to start after being deemed surplus to requirements over the summer, with Postecoglou seeking to move firmly away from the prior Conte regime.

Another figure who has also largely been restricted to a watching brief in recent weeks is Emerson Royal, with the Brazilian defender slipping behind Pedro Porro in the right-back pecking order after starting 20 league games last term.

While once described in the past as a “disaster” by ex-Spurs midfielder Jamie O’Hara, the former Barcelona man is certainly not the worst signing of recent times, however, with the acquisition of former Fulham man, Ryan Sessesgnon having proven far more underwhelming, in truth.

How much was Ryan Sessegnon worth at Fulham?
It had looked like something of a coup when the north Londoners made the move for the young Englishman back in 2019, with the then-teenager having enjoyed a stunning rise after making his first-team debut at the age of just 16 a few years earlier.

The versatile speedster – who can operate anywhere down the left flank – had racked up an impressive haul of 25 goals and 18 assists in 120 games in all competitions for the Cottagers despite his relative youth, boasting both top-flight and Championship experience with the west Londoners.

The former England U21 international had particularly impressed in the second tier during the 2017/18 campaign after scoring 16 goals and providing six assists in the league, with rumours circulating that he could be set to command a fee of around £50m.

How much did Tottenham pay for Ryan Sessegnon?
The 5 foot 10 dynamo was signed during what proved to be Mauricio Pochettino’s final transfer window in charge, joining alongside the likes of Tanguy Ndombele and Giovani Lo Celso as the club looked to build upon the previous campaign’s Champions League run.

While also facing rival interest from the likes of Manchester United, it was Daniel Levy and co who ultimately won the race for the full-back’s signature, striking a deal for an initial fee of around £25m.

Although nowhere close to the £50m figure that had previously been floated, that still represented something of a leap of faith after Sessesgnon had hardly set the world alight in the top tier in 2018/19, with just two goals and six assists for his previous employers.

In hindsight, Levy may wish he had invested those funds elsewhere, with it having proven a disappointing, injury-disrupted four years since then for the 23-year-old.

How much is Ryan Sessegnon worth now?
With numerous injury issues impacting his involvement, the Roehampton-born dud – who spent the 2020/21 campaign on loan at Hoffenheim – has made just 56 appearances in all competitions to date, scoring three goals and contributing only four assists in that time.

Currently sidelined with a hamstring issue, the £55k-per-week asset notably featured just 17 times in the league last season – only nine of which came from the start – with Conte having favoured Ivan Perisic or Ben Davies in that left-wing berth.

That lack of involvement has ensured that the once-promising talent is now said to be worth just €10m (£9m), according to CIES Football Observatory, representing a decline of £16m since his initial arrival four years ago

To put that into perspective, the aforementioned Emerson, for instance – who was also signed for £25m in 2021 – is still valued at €30m (£25m), despite having been described as “dreadful” in the recent past by journalist Josh Bunting.

That indicates just how much of a disappointing signing Sessegnon has been for the north London outfit to date, with it yet to be seen if there is any hope left of a revival once he does eventually return from injury.

How good is Ryan Sessegnon?
The Englishman has not exactly endeared himself to fans and pundits alike amid his performances when he has featured of late, having even been brutally described as “not good enough” by O’Hara back in January.

That was followed by a stinging assessment from club insider John Wenham last year, with the Spurs expert dubbing Sessegnon “a Championship player”, while going on to state:

“We bought him as this kid with great potential and all of the attributes. I was so excited when we got him, he was exactly the signing I wanted the club to make.

“But you can have hindsight and you can be allowed to be wrong about things. I was absolutely wrong about Sessegnon.

“He has no pace. Ever since he had his hamstring injury he doesn’t take players on. What is the point of setting your team up to benefit from attacking wing-backs if you have a wing-back who can’t beat a man, has no pace, has no strength and cannot deliver a cross?”

Despite looking like an exciting purchase initially, the £9m-rated asset – who has just two years left on his existing deal – has proven a costly mistake for Levy to date.


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