Ryan Sessegnon has bulked up over the summer as he looks to put his injury woes behind him and become a regular starter for Tottenham.
The England Under-21 star, who joined Spurs from Fulham in the summer of 2019, has had hamstring trouble for much of his time in north London.
The 22-year-old enjoyed a mini renaissance last term, having started the final six matches of last season.
And he’s determined to stay in manager Antonio Conte’s first team, so much so that he spent most of the off-season pumping iron.
Sessegnon said: “I used the off-season as an opportunity to get muscle into my legs – and my top as well. If you can see the difference then obviously it’s worked!
“I did it to make myself stronger and play more games, to have the capability to go up and down for the full 90 minutes.
“That’s one of my aims, to play most games available this season.
“It will help for sure, 100 per cent, because last season I was getting these injuries because places around my hamstring weren’t very strong.
“I’ve managed to work in the off-season doing all this stuff on my hips and my glutes to make it stronger in every area.”
Sessegnon added he did double sessions for two weeks in Portugal in June, where he lifted free weights, did relentless squats and lots of running.
Sessegnon, who’s cut a noticeably more bulked up figure this summer, is in competition for the left wing-back role with new signing Ivan Perisic.
The 33-year-old Croatia international joined on a free transfer from Inter Milan this summer and comes with a wealth of experience, having won the Bundesliga, Serie A and Champions League, as well as scoring in the 2018 World Cup final.
However, despite them being competitors, Sessegnon has been receiving helpful pointers from Perisic.
“I can learn a lot from him technically, mentally and physically,” he explained.
“He’s already helped me with little pointers, tips about the way to affect the game more in an attacking sense and score more goals.
“Being in the box at the right time more often when the ball’s on the other side, being smart, using my brain, communicating a bit more.
“It’s healthy competition but whatever I can learn from him will help me in the long run. He’s scored a lot of goals in his career playing in that position. It can only help me going forward.”
Sessegnon became one of the most sought after youngsters as he shone for Fulham in the 2017/18 season where he was known for his threat in the final third.
That helped the Cottagers achieve promotion to the Premier League and Sessegnon is hoping he can get this form back in the top flight.
He added: “More goals and assists will keep me in the team so that’s my aim.”
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