Charlton's first loan signing for the 22/23 season arrived on Tuesday in the shape of Steven Sessegnon. The defender describes himself as follows: “Ever since I was young I’ve been able to play either side of a defence or even in midfield. I’m just as comfortable in the middle as I am on the left and right. I like to attack players and I like to get at people. It’s all about being positive"
Despite being at Fulham since he was eight years old Steven has only made 14 League appearances for the club - all in The Championship in 2019-20 when Fulham won promotion to The Premier League. While they sleepwalked to relegation the following season he was on loan at Bristol City where he made 16 appearances before returning to West London hoping to break into their Championship side last season. He didn't manage it and in January went on loan to Plymouth where he played ten games.
Over a period of six years he represented England at every level from under 16 to under 21 including being in the team that won the under 17 World Cup in 2017. However, at age 22 he has made only 40 League appearances and he was no doubt attracted to Charlton because of the promise of more game time.
Ben Garner said: "We are very happy to sign Steven and welcome him into our squad. He is capable of playing both on the left and right so gives us added quality, plus versatility. Steven is an athletic player with good football intelligence and technical quality. He is also ambitious and wants to help us be successful this season."
We are grateful to Charlton Life commentator Tutt Tutt for the following analysis which he wrote after watching Sessegnon playing for Fulham under 23s:
5'-9" with a good build. Very Good performance. Produced some very good play on the ball going forward, and was instrumental in much of his side's build-up play on the left flank. He joined in the build-up through midfield very effectively with a number of forward runs into the last third, often getting behind the opposition right back position, where he produced a couple of very good low crosses, including an assist on his side's only goal. He showed very good control and passing ability off both feet, and good ability on the ball in general, with quick feet when in possession. In defensive play, he showed very good positioning and good anticipation to tidy up in behind the defensive line on a couple of occasions. Assessment - Championship/League One.
Charlton have now signed five players who will be expected to be in contention for starting eleven selection. This time last year we had signed three (Dobson, MacGillivray and Stockley) and had released seven (Amos, Aneke, Maddison, Oshilaja, Oztumer, Pratley and Shinnie). Nothing quite compares with the ten senior players signed by Chris Powell by this time eleven years ago but business so far should provide some grounds for optimism.
And if you can't be optimistic in July, when can you be optimistic ?