Ryan Sessegnon has shed light on how he has been developing at Hoffenheim this season and his relationship with Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho.
Sessegnon joined Tottenham from Fulham in 2019 as one of the most promising young players in English football.
While there is still plenty of time ahead of him, he perhaps did not make the impact expected of him during his first season with Spurs.
In total, he has only played in six Premier League games for Tottenham so far. The last of those came in January 2020.
Therefore, the club decided to send him out on loan in October. He moved to the German Bundesliga to join Hoffenheim for the season.
Sessegnon is getting back on track in Germany, making 11 appearances in the Bundesliga so far. In those games, he has provided two goals and two assists.
Tottenham will be hoping he continues his progress so that he can return to north London as a better player.
Now, the 20-year-old has opened up on the process behind him leaving Spurs, and why he found the transition from playing under Mauricio Pochettino to Jose Mourinho challenging at first.
“I was still trying to get to know Pochettino and building that type of relationship,” he told The Independent. “To hear he got sacked, I was like: ‘Wow.’
“Obviously I was shocked. But of course I was excited to work under a manager of Jose’s stature. I was just trying to do everything to impress, do everything in a positive manner, see what he can see in me.
“From there it was a difficult first few months; I wasn’t being selected at the start, but I kept working and was just trying to stay patient.”
While Sessegnon is now playing in a different country, he confirmed he is still in regular contact with Mourinho.
Asked what his manager told him before the move to Hoffenheim, Sessegnon said: “The main message was ‘just go out and play’, that’s exactly what he told me.
“He saw it as a good opportunity for me to go out and just play, play, play, bring that experience back and then hopefully I’m ready for when I come back.
“When I scored my first goal he was in contact to congratulate me. Just here and there he drops me a little message to see how I’m doing, to see where I am with the injury and stuff like that.
“It was his birthday the other day and I dropped him a little message.”
Sessegnon open to another move away
Sessegnon is under contract with Tottenham until 2025, so has years ahead of him to realise his potential.
In the short-term, though, he may struggle for gametime back at the club. Sergio Reguilon is Mourinho’s first choice in his position.
Therefore, the England under-21 international would be willing to have another loan spell away from Tottenham if it would be better for his development.
He added: “If [first-team football] is not going to be possible next season or in the future, of course I want to go back to a league or a club to regain that experience, and when the time is right to go back, we will see from there.
“Of course I would say to any young player: Try a different culture, a different league, a different language and don’t be afraid, because it is a great opportunity. You will come back a different person and a better player.”