It looks as though the club will turn their attentions away from Ryan Sessegnon for the time being following Fulham’s promotion to the Premier League.
The 18-year-old has been a long-term target but the winger’s desire to play for the Cottagers in the Premier League club, combined with his £50million valuation, has put us off, reports the Telegraph.
Instead, it is believed we will be going after Borussia Dortmund’s Christian Pulisic. Also valued at £50m, the 19-year-old’s first team experience in both the Bundesliga and the Champions League make him a more cost-effective target. So, who is this teenager?
The American was brought up in Pennsylvania before being spotted by Dortmund’s scouts when playing for USA’s Under 17 team during a competition in Turkey. From there, he was given a path through the Bundesliga’s side’s youth setup.
After gaining a Croatian passport, he was able to play for the German club at 16, rather than 18 if he was just an American citizen, and those two years of player development seemed to have really born fruit.
Working under Hannes Wolf in the youth team, and briefly under Jurgen Klopp in the first team, he was then given his senior debut by Thomas Tuchel. He has impressed observers with his close control. Likened by some to Eden Hazard in how he can glide past people, the American is technically gifted, and looks to have a huge future in the game.
Prior to this season, he wasn’t a regular in the Dortmund first team, but Liverpool, at Klopp’s behest, were keen to snap up the teenager last summer. He remained at Dortmund to continue his development, and he finished last season with 42 appearances to his name.
He managed five goals and seven assists, but there looks to be a lot more to come from the winger. He can play out wide or through the middle, but he is also an intelligent footballer. In an interview with the Independent, he listed off a number of areas of where he wants to improve his game.
He wants to improve his final ball, his shot precision and his ability to beat defenders one-on-one. He doesn’t limit his thirst for improvement to himself. After the USA failed to qualify for the World Cup, the 19-year-old wrote an essay for the Player’s Tribune outlining his thoughts about what went wrong.
Such a desire to improve is a clear perfect fit for Mauricio Pochettino and us as a club. The sky really is the limit for this kid, and although there will no doubt be huge competition for his signature, we do have a good chance, especially with Poch’s track record in improving young players.