Ryan Sessegnon believes Antonio Conte’s brutal fitness regime at Tottenham is finally allowing him to fulfill his potential.
The 22-year-old is looking forward to playing under head coach Conte as he looks to cement himself in Spurs’ roster, having joined from Fulham in 2019.
He has made six appearances this season – scoring his first goal for the club in the 4-1 Matchday 1 win over Southampton – and now feels belatedly ready for the Premier League challenge thanks to the demanding but “very Claires” by Conte. .
“Other managers I’ve had at Spurs have been a bit colder in training,” said the broad, who is currently preparing for England’s Under-21 friendly in Italy on Thursday.
“With this gaffer, even if we do tactical stuff, it’s still physically hard… The longer runs, the difficult distances – eight or nine kilometer runs in training three days before the games.
“It’s tough, but your body is adapting. Then, when you are in the field, it benefits you. I feel that the whole team is stronger, can go stronger than the other teams.
“I was injured when he first came in November last season. He forces injured players to watch tactical sessions and I was the first to sit on the sidelines and watch the way he wants that we were playing.
“Then you’re going to do your physical stuff – it’s long days. As a team I don’t think we were in really good shape and he gave us a lot of racing. I knew when I came back that I had to be ready for the levels.
“The way he wants us to play… Everyone knows how intense the Premier League is.
“It’s been difficult trying to put together different ideas that different gaffers want. Now the gaffer is very detailed, we have a lot of meetings and tactical sessions.
“He’s very clear about what he wants. It’s probably the first time in my Spurs career that I know what to do with and without the ball in a situation where the formation is clear.
Sessegnon has been marred by hamstring issues for the past few years, having suffered a serious injury with the Young Lions at Euro 2019 before joining Tottenham later that summer.
He spent two weeks in Portugal with a personal trainer this summer, however, in a bid to battle the issues and build up his strength, and now hopes his issues are behind him.
“Football is a rollercoaster, there are a lot of ups and downs. It wasn’t easy – I was good at Fulham and then faced so many obstacles at Spurs,” he said, having made just 39 appearances in all competitions for the northern club. of London in three years.
“Now I’m going to the other side. It was hard work mentally and physically. I look forward to the future.
“It was very frustrating. The worst is the injuries, especially the same one that keeps happening. You have to go back and look at your body and ask yourself why this keeps happening.
“That’s what I did, and I tried to identify things to improve. Thank God everything has gone well so far and may it continue for a long time.
Sessegnon is on duty with the Young Lions as they continue their preparations for Euro 2023 with Thursday’s friendly in Pescara and Tuesday’s game against Germany in Sheffield.
He added: “We have to define how we want to play and the situations we might find ourselves in. We have two difficult games against two good teams, but we are also a good team.”