The two Brighton stars adding a new dimension to Graham Potter's attack
Having not featured since December last year due to injury, Brighton fans will have been delighted to see Tariq Lamptey return to their match day squad against Leicester.
The 20-year-old suffered a hamstring injury which required surgery and has seen him side-lined since last December. An exciting start to the season looks to be getting even better for the Seagulls, with the return of Lamptey to the starting XI imminent.
Before suffering the setback the right-sided wing back had been enjoying great form. An attacking outlet alongside defensive solidity, he quickly became a fan-favourite.
The young defender’s admirable work rate, allowing him to cover significant ground on the right flank, endeared him to Seagulls’ fans, and quickly established him as one of Brighton’s best players.
Possessing a tenacity and willingness to drive forwards, Lamptey’s close control and agility enable him to glide past defenders; a good crossing ability means there is often a productive end result to the full-back’s attacking forays.
Lamptey’s ability to drive Brighton up the pitch was missed after his injury, and having him back will return to them an attacking dimension which will excite, especially after the already positive start to the season.
With such a love of getting into forward positions, it would be easy for Lamptey to become a defensive liability for Graham Potter’s side. This is not the case.
With his considerable pace, the England Under-21 International is able to make rapid recovery runs, giving him the freedom to occupy higher positions on the pitch knowing he is able to swiftly return to complete his defensive responsibilities.
With Lamptey looking set to return to the right, Brighton’s flanks will be at full strength with the very exciting prospect of both the returning Englishman and new signing Marc Cucurella, who has made a very impressive start to his Premier League career, playing in the same side.
Albion Analytics stated against Brentford Cucurella was Brighton’s best progressor of the ball, when combining progressive passes and dribbles, with 11, and was also first for passes completed in the final third (20/25). An impressive debut.
The Spaniard followed up his good start with a man of the match performance against Leicester. Cucurella had the most touches (65) and the most passes received (38) of any Brighton player.
The new man’s involvement having just come into the side is spectacular. Having already made himself a key part of the team, the re-introduction of Lamptey on the opposition flank will give opposition outfits a serious problem to deal with.
With both players offering an attacking threat, and enough pace to recover when caught out of position, Brighton will be able to pin back opposition teams with their full backs occupying space high up the pitch.
Graham Potter and the Brighton hierarchy must be commended for their recruitment in the past few years, and their belief in playing more attractive football and no longer just attempting to survive at the bottom end of the table.
Players such as Lamptey and Cucurella are at the fore of that, being two positive, attacking full backs, who are just 20 and 23 respectively, Brighton will have the two bright sparks for years to come, and with time to improve further.
Brighton fans should be thrilled at the prospect of their new full back duo.