Despite keeping Ryan Sessegnon in his pocket for the duration on the last day of the season, Wes Harding is keen to emulate his opposite number by going from strength to strength in the Championship.
The 21-year-old has been a revelation since being given his chance by Garry Monk, and it seems he is absolutely determined to take this opportunity with both hands. He told the Birmingham Mail:
“You described him as a great English prodigy, that’s what I want to be. In order to be that you have to shut those ones down. I did that and I want to continue to do that.”
It’s great to see a young lad so determined to improve. The hunger of youth players is questioned at times but it’s clear that Wes has his ambitions set high.
We have to be careful not to get too carried away with the full-back, after all, he has only been in the team for two months. However, the maturity and assuredness with which he is playing gives me a good amount of optimism.
Sure, there will be wobbles along the way, like the less than stellar display against QPR, but the fact that Monk kept faith with him for the crucial game against Fulham, demonstrates a level of trust in the defender’s mentality that he can handle the big occasion.
The faith was rewarded by not only his ability to mark Sessegnon out of the game but also to provide a threat at the other end, delivering the cross for the crucial opening goal.
It was no surprise he was named the club’s young player of the season, despite only having played the last nine matches, as he has had such an instant impact.
Consistency is key though. He has to replicate this over a season, and perhaps add more to his game so he can justifiably be seen as a “great English prodigy.”
Despite not having a good game against us, Sessegnon has scored 16 and provided six assists this campaign. Although as a more defensive right back, Wes won’t be hitting anywhere near these numbers, he will no doubt be hoping to contribute a good deal going forward, as well as defensively next season.