Both left footed. Both teenagers. Both taking their first career steps in the Championship. Both starting their careers at left back. It was only a matter of time before Fulham's Ryan Sessegnon began to draw comparisons to a young Gareth Bale.

By 90Min
November 28, 2017

Both left footed. Both teenagers. Both taking their first career steps in the Championship. Both starting their careers at left back. It was only a matter of time before Fulham wonderkid Ryan Sessegnon began to draw comparisons to a young Gareth Bale, given the vast similarities to the infancy of their respective careers. 

Sessegnon arguably has the bigger window to succeed, given the fact that he made his debut for Fulham a whole 194 days before the Welshman made his first appearances for Southampton at the age of 16 years and 275 days, and the point could be made that the Fulham academy graduate has made a faster start to his career. 

The 17-year-old has scored 11 goals and recorded six assists in his first 52 senior appearances in professional football, including a recent hat-trick in a 5-4 win over Sheffield United, whereas Real Madrid's record signing scored five and assisted ten in 51 appearances for the Saints before Tottenham snapped him up. 

To add to the coincidentally similar nature of the pair's respective careers, Spurs are said to be lining up a move for Sessegnon to replace the out of favor Danny Rose, meaning that the career of Fulham's boy wonder could become even more startlingly similar to Bale's. 

What is overly impressive about Sessegnon, however, is his ability in such a physically demanding league whilst possessing such a slight physical build himself, suggesting that he mentally outwits much more experienced opponents than him rather than use his body to gain an advantage. 

Obviously, his physique will improve, but Bale's frame at the same age was far more dominant which could perhaps suggest Southampton's starlet relied on his athletic traits whilst he learnt his trade. 

The biggest flaw in young talent is their end product, decision making and in general, their mental ability, so to see Sessegnon - who finished top scorer at the recent Under-19 European Championships - play with such composure and levelheadedness bodes well for him. 

The Championship's youngest ever goalscorer has also perhaps taken more responsibility at a young age than Bale ever did, as he made 30 appearances in his first professional campaign last term when his Welsh counterpart made just two in his. 


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On the international stage, however, Bale had made far more progress that Sessegnon has at his age. The now 28-year-old had made his senior debut for Wales before his 17th birthday, whilst Sessegnon has only appeared for the England Under 16, 17 and 19's, although this is obviously down to the increased level of competition. 

All in all, there should be far more furor over the first player born in 2000 to score in the English leagues, as his early career statistics are marginally better than one of the best players in world football today's were at his age. 

Sessegnon has the world at his feet, adoring fans and a platform for consistent game time at Fulham, and at an age where he can't even legally buy an alcoholic beverage he would be best advised staying at Craven Cottage for a while. 

Even Gareth Bale didn't win any of his first 24 appearances for Spurs after his move, prompting fans to call him a jinx. The Premier League grass isn't always greener...

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