Brighton manager Graham Potter has been singing the praises of young defender Alex Cochrane but said that he will “need to sit down and think” about the 20-year-old’s immediate future.
As per Brighton & Hove Independent, the Seagulls boss was discussing the left-back, who was drafted into the matchday squad for the 0-0 draw against Newcastle on Monday as Bernardo had an eye infection.
Potter said of Cochrane: “He has been with us throughout this lockdown period. He has impressed, he has a really good attitude and we like him.
“He is one of two, three or four young players where we need to sit down and think about the right pathway for them. But he is a good lad and I have really enjoyed working with him.”
Cochrane was given his senior Brighton debut in the Carabao Cup against Aston Villa earlier this season but has been hitherto unable to build on that, having not made it off the bench against the Magpies three days ago. [via TransferMarkt]
He has featured regularly for the under-23 side in Premier League 2, though, with two goals in 16 appearances in that division attracting the transfer interest of Portsmouth, who are reportedly keeping tabs on him and keen to sign the youngster (as per Portsmouth News).
According to Brighton & Hove Independent reporter Derren Howard, “Cochrane is a good athlete who defends well but like most modern day fullbacks he’s also very attack-minded and links with the midfield.”
Howard added that the 20-year-old is “skilful on the ball and for a young player reads the game well and is tactically aware”, as well as being “praised for his character and work-rate in training”.
Cochrane may get a Premier League debut against Burnley on Sunday now that Brighton’s top-flight status for next season is guaranteed, although Dan Burn will most likely be Potter’s first choice in that role again when the 2020/21 campaign starts, having been the Seagulls’ starting left-back for most of this term.
Even if Cochrane doesn’t quite yet seem ready to properly challenge for a first team place at Brighton, Potter’s words about the younger suggest that he is very much in the manager’s long-term plans at least.
Should Brighton keep Alex Cochrane next season or loan him out?
A potential loan move to Portsmouth, who have been battling at the right end of League One over the last couple of seasons, could be an ideal one for the 20-year-old to obtain regular game-time at senior level before coming back with a stronger chance of making his mark for the Seagulls.
Brighton fans, do you think Cochrane will get a start on Sunday? Can you see him becoming a Seagulls regular in the future? Share your views in the comments section below!
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