Hoffenheim saw off fierce competition to secure the loan signing of 20-year-old Ryan Sessegnon from Tottenham Hotspur, who follows in the footsteps of the likes of Reiss Nelson and Jadon Sancho as English youngsters looking to the Bundesliga for their big break.
Here, bundesliga.com lifts the lid on what makes Sessegnon tick and how he's ended up at TSG with a Guinness World Record in his suitcase…
Position: Left wing-back
Country: England (12 U21 caps)
Sessegnon began his career at Fulham at eight-years-old in 2008, and made his senior debut for the club aged just 16 years and 18 days in 2016. On 16 August that year, Sessegnon made his league bow in the 1-1 draw with Leeds and four days later became the first player born in the 2000s to score a first-team goal in the English Football League, as well as the Championship’s youngest ever goalscorer. He made 30 Fulham appearances in 2016/17, and was included in the division’s Team of the Year - becoming the youngest player ever to do so.
He played all of Fulham’s 46 league matches in 2017/18, ending the campaign with 16 goals and eight assists as well as the Championship Player of the Season award and a nomination for the PFA Young Player of the Year award - the first time someone outside the top-flight had been put forward for the gong.
After 35 Premier League appearances, two goals and six assists, Sessegnon made the move to Tottenham Hotspur 12 months later, ahead of the 2019/20 season. He featured 12 times for Spurs last year, including three Champions League outings that saw him score against Bayern Munich in the Group Stages and feature in the last-16 second-leg exit to RB Leipzig - playing the entire 90 minutes of both matches.
Sessegnon has 42 youth international caps for England and is a regular for the U21 side, with has 12 caps at that level. He was also a central figure in his country’s team that lifted the UEFA European U19 Championship trophy in 2017. Sessegnon was named in the Team of the Tournament and finished joint highest scorer with three goals - including a brace in a 4-1 win over Germany in the groups.
Plays a bit like: Alphonso Davies
Now Sessegnon will have to go some way to replicate Davies’ remarkable efforts at Bayern - including a breakout 2019/20 where he became a crucial cog in Hansi Flick’s treble winning side - but the pair do bear a number of similarities. Both are traditionally left-wingers that now ply their trade a little further back, but still look to get forward at every opportunity - dribbling at and taking on their opposite numbers with pace, with close control and a composure on the ball that belies their youth.
Did you know?
Sessegnon is a Guinness World Record holder, for: Fastest time to hit both football (soccer) goal posts and crossbar. He completed the woodwork treble in 7.75 seconds, making the attempt during a training camp with England ahead of the 2019 UEFA European Under-21 Championship.
What they’re saying
"I'm very excited to get going. TSG are all about successfully educating and developing young players. I'm hoping that the transfer will allow me game time in one of the best professional leagues in the world and I'm looking forward to the matches in a European competition." - Sessegnon
"Ryan Sessegnon is a highly talented and fast wide player with a strong left foot… We were on the lookout for a high-quality addition to our squad and we're very happy that we have found one in Ryan." - TSG sporting director, Alexander Rosen
“I think Ryan is absolutely fantastic.” - Tottenham Hotspur coach Jose Mourinho