Ryan Sessegnon: Fulham's teenage forward praises manager Slavisa Jokanovic

Ryan Sessegnon celebrates a goal with Fulham teammates
Teenager Ryan Sessegnon (centre) has been an ever-present for Fulham in the Championship this season

Fulham forward Ryan Sessegnon says manager Slavisa Jokanovic has had a "massive impact" on his career.

The 17-year-old, who initially broke into the team last season at left-back, has scored 13 goals for the Championship club so far in 2017-18.

"For someone to have faith in you at the tender age of 16 is massive," Sessegnon told BBC Radio London.

"This season he has had total confidence in me and I just want to repay him with my performances."

'Fulham style helps my development'

Roehampton-born Sessegnon joined Fulham at under-nine level, and was handed his first-team debut by Jokanovic in August 2016, in an EFL Cup victory over Leyton Orient.

After featuring 30 times in all competitions last season, scoring seven goals, he signed his first professional deal last summer to commit to Fulham until June 2020.

The highly-rated teenager has started every league game for the west London side this term and, used in a more advanced role, is the Whites' top scorer.

Sessegnon, who has attracted interest from Manchester United and Tottenham, got recognition for his form over the course of this campaign at the London Football Awards on Thursday, winning the EFL Player of the Year and Young Player of the Year awards.

"Credit to the gaffer for playing me in a higher position," he said.

"My debut season was a good one for me, especially at 16, but I said that I want to improve. That is what I am doing at the moment and I want to keep on going.

"The way we are playing at the moment has helped me develop as a player.

"The football we have been playing, especially in recent weeks, is a very attractive brand and I am grateful to the gaffer that he keeps choosing me."

Jokanovic backs Sessegnon for England future

Fulham boss Slavisa Jokanovic
Fulham boss Slavisa Jokanovic has played Sessegnon as part of a front three this season

Sessegnon has been a key part of Fulham's promotion bid this season and Jokanovic, who has been in charge at Craven Cottage since December 2015, has backed the youngster to win full England recognition.

He was part of the England squad which won the European Under-19 Championship last summer but missed last October's Under-17 World Cup, which his twin brother Steven helped England to win, because of his commitments with Fulham.

Jokanovic believes the World Cup in Russia this summer may come too soon for the teenager, but he thinks he will eventually establish himself in the senior squad.

"This man has showed the quality to compete in senior football and has become champion of Europe, with a generation two years older," Jokanovic, 49, said.

"I trust this kid to do important things.

"If he goes to the World Cup - I cannot make the decision - it won't be the first time for England. Michael Owen and Theo Walcott were part of this tournament at a similar age.

"If they decide not to bring him this time I am sure he is going to be part of the next European Championship."

Interview with Ryan Sessegnon by BBC Radio London's Lucy Oliva.

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