Former Brighton defender George Cox has completed a permanent transfer to Fortuna Sittard, where he had been on loan during the 2019/20 season.
Brighton & Hove Independent reported that the 22-year-old has ended his time with the Seagulls to make a permanent switch to the Eredivisie outfit, with the English club’s technical director Dan Ashworth wishing the youngster well upon his Amex Stadium exit.
That Cox should decide to leave Brighton permanently comes as no great surprise – despite featuring 59 times for the Seagulls’ under-23 side, he never made a senior appearance or even featured in a matchday squad. By contrast, he had been given 21 Eredivisie starts by Fortuna Sittard in the most recent campaign, scoring his first senior goal.
The 22-year-old was unable to displace ex-Brighton player Gaetan Bong, or current Amex Stadium defenders Bernardo and Dan Burn, in the left-back slot in recent seasons. Indeed, the latter has played mainly as a centre-back during his career and began the season in that role before Graham Potter moved him to the left, where he has played the vast majority of this campaign.
Cox has posted some impressive defensive statistics in Netherlands this season, with match averages of 1.9 successful tackles, 2.2 interceptions and two clearances. By way of comparison, Burn has averaged two successful tackles, 1.3 interceptions and 3.3 clearances per game in 2019/20. Meanwhile, Bernardo has won 2.2 tackles per game but averaged a paltry 0.4 interceptions and just 1.3 clearances.
Cox’s defensive averages suggest that he should have been given a fairer chance by Brighton, with his favourable interceptions per game figure over Burn standing out.
Did Brighton make a mistake by letting George Cox leave permanently?
However, that he never even made the bench for a first team game, and that Potter has preferred a long-time centre-back as his first-choice left-back this season, indicated that the Fortuna Sittard defender would likely have struggled to make any headway in his career had he remained in Sussex. Therefore, it was a decision which makes perfect sense from his point of view.
Brighton fans, are you disappointed that Cox was sold without ever making a breakthrough at the Amex? Have your say by commenting below!
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