Ryan Sessegnon has dismissed talk of another loan move this season and made it clear Tottenham have no excuses for their poor performance at Pacos de Ferreira.
The 20-year-old spent last season on loan at German club Hoffenheim, getting plenty of minutes under his belt in the Bundesliga.
The England U21 international’s return to Spurs was interrupted by a hamstring injury picked up early in pre-season.
Now he finds himself in a battle with Sergio Reguilon and Ben Davies for the left-back spot but he says there is no plan to head back out on loan.
“No, not at the moment, I don’t think so. I’m just really focused on doing my job here at Tottenham,” Sessegnon told football.london before admitting that the fight against two other left-backs for a spot is his toughest test yet in his career but it’s good for the club.
“Yeah, exactly [it is]. There’s competition everywhere in the team, but like you said, three good players in one position at left-back and it’s good for everyone involved.
“It pushes everyone to their limit. Everyone wants to be playing but only one can play at a time. Everyone is ready for the challenge and that’s what’s in front of us at the moment.”
He added: “[The challenge] for me now to get on the pitch and try to play as many games as I can and try to stay injury-free.
“Last season I played a lot of games for Hoffenheim and I enjoyed my time there but I’m here now and I focused here on playing as many games as I can and the gaffer is giving me opportunities to play.”
One of those opportunities came in the disappointing 1-0 defeat at Pacos de Ferreira on Thursday night in Portugal in the Europa Conference League play-off first leg.
Spurs boss Nuno Espirito Santo left 16 players at home, including all of the starting XI that beat Manchester City on Sunday.
That meant a team containing three new signings and two academy youngsters making their first competitive starts looked understandably disjointed but Sessegnon was not looking for excuses.
The young full-back struggled to make an impact himself in the first half but improved a lot in the second period, making some dangerous runs before coming off as he builds his fitness following the injury.
“It was a difficult game. We knew coming here that it wouldn’t be easy. We had to fight for every ball on the pitch and of course we’re disappointed that we lost the game, but we’ll have another chance next week to put it right,” he said.
“We train together every day so we can’t use that [unfamiliar line-up] as an excuse in this game. Like you said, there are new players in this team and it hasn’t played too much together but we can’t use that and we have to put it right.”
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Sessegnon made it clear that Espirito Santo had prepared the players fully for the strengths of the Portuguese side.
“No, [we did not underestimate them], not at all. This week the gaffer prepped us on how they were going to play and how aggressive they would be and that’s how they were,” he said.
“They made it difficult for us. We know we can do better. In football there are other chances to put it right and that’s what we need to do.”
Harry Kane was not involved for a second match in a row while the saga around his future continues in the background but Sessegnon said the situation with the England captain has not affected the camp.
“No, not really. The situation is a private one between H and the club so we don’t really focus on that,” he said. “We just focus on what’s ahead and that’s the next game.”