Fulham boss Slavisa Jokanovic has warned Ryan Sessegnon he might have to get used to not playing every game. The 18-year-old was named on the bench as the Cottagers broke their Premier League duck against Burnley last week, having started the first three games of the season.
He was a key player in Fulham’s promotion last season, but a summer influx of 12 players has seen Jokanovic build a strong squad.
And the Serb says Sessegnon does not need to play every game.
“Ryan Sessegnon is 18 years old with around 100 games in professional football,” the manager, who is preparing his team for Saturday’s trip to Brighton, told reporters.
“I made a decision, he does not need to play all of the games, nobody needs to play all of them.
“He is in the same process as the team, his potential is huge – 100 per cent he will be an important player for us this season.
“If doesn’t play a game or doesn’t start a game it is not tragic news.
“He is working hard, he pushes forward and he will be an important part of our Premier League team.”
With so many signings in the summer – Fulham made five on transfer deadline day alone – Jokanovic’s intention is to cultivate a competitive environment at Craven Cottage.
“This is good news for me, good news for Fulham and good news for the players,” he added. “They need to push themselves harder. I have tried to make it some kind of a competition in my team, they need to compete first of all with each other for the opportunity to compete with the opposition team.
“I believe this is healthy for the team and players. It is my job to make the choice which is best for the game ahead of us. I will choose what I believe is the best option.”