Brighton’s pathway development manager David Weir has backed the club’s returning loan players to push for inclusion in Graham Potter’s first team in the near future.
Ben White, Jayson Molumby, Christian Walton and Matt Clarke were among the numerous players loaned out by the Seagulls in 2019/20 and Weir believes that some of those could force their way into the first team manager’s plans for next season.
As per The Argus, he said: “It’s now Graham Potter’s job to assess his squad and his options, to try and see which player ticks as many boxes as possible.
“The lads have done their bit and I am sure a few of them will be in and around his thoughts, but not everyone can be. That’s why we see the benefit of the players being able to go out and get experience in other places.”
Brighton had a large number of players out on loan during 2019/20, some of whom have since left the club permanently (Anthony Knockaert, Leon Balogun, Beram Kayal) or, in Percy Tau’s case, been loaned out again.
However, several Seagulls players made the most of loan spells in the Championship. White is perhaps the most prominent of those, with the centre-back playing every minute of Leeds’ promotion-winning campaign and having a subsequent £22m bid from the Yorkshire outfit rejected by Albion.
Fellow centre-back Clarke started 34 league games for Derby and won an impressive 4.4 headers per game for Philip Cocu’s side. However, with strong competition for defensive places at the Amex Stadium, the 23-year-old could be set for another loan move, as hinted by The Athletic‘s Ryan Conway.
Central midfielder Molumby played in 36 league games for Millwall last term, starting 31, with a goal and an assist to his name (as per TransferMarkt). However, like Clarke, he plays in a position where Brighton are already well-stocked, with Adam Lallana joining the midfield ranks last month, so the 21-year-old Irishman may need to bide his time with the Seagulls or opt for another loan switch.
Walton was Blackburn’s first-choice goalkeeper last season, playing the entirety of their Championship season and keeping 12 clean sheets in 46 games (as per TransferMarkt). That might be enough to persuade Potter to keep him at Brighton, albeit as backup to Mat Ryan, who was ever-present for the Seagulls in the 2019/20 Premier League.
Of that quartet, White seems the most likely to break into the Brighton first team next season, so long as he stays amid continuing transfer speculation. Walton may also get his chance if, heaven forbid, Ryan is laid low with injury.
Which of these is most likely to get into Brighton's first team next season?
Potter has shown a willingness to put his faith in rising talents like Tariq Lamptey, Aaron Connolly and Alexis Mac Allister, which may give hope to the players returning to the Amex from their respective loan spells that they might get their chance in the first team, with some of them enjoying the backing of Weir.
Brighton fans, which players can you see breaking into the first team next season? Have your say by commenting below!
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