Slavisa Jokanovic keen to offer Ryan Sessegnon new Fulham deal
By Richard Cooke
Last Updated: 27/09/18 5:18pm
Fulham manager Slavisa Jokanovic says he will do all he can to persuade Ryan Sessegnon to sign a new long-term contract.
The 18-year-old has established himself as a key member of the team and played a major role in their promotion season when he was voted Championship player of the year.
Fulham made it clear in the summer Sessegnon was not for sale but there is an appetite to tie him to Craven Cottage for the foreseeable future.
Speaking ahead of Fulham's game at Everton, Jokanovic said: "It's not in my hands but I believe everyone knows he is important. For my side 100 per cent I will support and encourage the player to sign a new contract with us.
"I believe it's a great idea and I can only encourage Ryan to sign.
"After this it is in the hands of Sessegnon's family, agent and people around him. I will be satisfied if he makes this step. I hope we will find a way for him."
Jokanovic added he has no intention of giving Harvey Elliott regular first-team football this season, despite making him the club's youngest ever player on Tuesday at Millwall.
The winger came on, aged 15 years and 174 days, during the final 10 minutes on an evening when they eased to a 3-1 victory and has since attracted significant interest.
His use of Sessegnon has demonstrated Jokanovic's willingness to select young players if their talent demands, but for all of Elliott's promise the manager believes he has to continue to develop and focus on his education before featuring as he may hope.
"He's definitely a talented player," Jokanovic went on. "The club know it, but I found a moment in a game when we were more or less in a comfortable situation for one really young man. He played well, and that's it. We don't need to shake his hand and make him confused.
"There's a long way in front of him for improvement; we gave him a chance to test himself, and that's it. It's better talking less about it because we expect in a few years he'll be a really important player for Fulham.
"We'll try and check the schedule of this kid, because he has an obligation with school, with Fulham too, and when we have the opportunity we're going to keep going, check him, and keep working with him."