Brighton manager Graham Potter has hinted that Jose Izquierdo‘s return from long-term injury could be imminent and is excited to see him in action for the first team.
The Colombian has been sidelined with a serious knee injury dating back to the final stages of Chris Hughton’s time in charge and has yet to play for the current Seagulls manager. However, Potter has been very impressed with the 28-year-old in training and says that he could be back in action over the next couple of weeks.
As per The Argus, the manager said: “He trained again with the team (yesterday), so he’s had a good few days now. It’s a lot about how he reacts but I’d like to think that in the next week, two weeks, he can get on the pitch somewhere and get that game time, because that’s obviously the next stage. It’s going to be important for him.”
Potter is excited to see Izquierdo in action but sounded a cautionary note about rushing him back, saying: “We see him now on the pitch, he trains, you can see his quality. It’s going to help him get back up to that maximum level, which as you can imagine is going to take a bit of time, thought and care.
“He has been out for so long, and he is such an explosive player. So we have to be careful, do right by him.”
Can you see Jose Izquierdo getting back into Brighton's first XI?
The Colombian winger played a significant part in Brighton’s first Premier League season in 2017/18, starting 23 Premier League games and featuring in a further nine, with five goals and four assists to his name (as per TransferMarkt). Unfortunately, he was restricted to only nine league starts in an injury-plagued 2018/19 campaign and last played in a 1-1 draw against Newcastle in April 2019.
He made Colombia’s squad for the 2018 World Cup and played in that tournament but he now finds himself trying to get back into Albion’s first team ahead of fellow left winger Leandro Trossard, who struck five goals last season and already has a goal and an assist to his name this term.
It will be fantastic to see Izquierdo back on the pitch for Brighton whenever he is fit enough to return to competitive action, given that he is closing in on 18 months without playing.
However, with him being out of action for so long, he could take time to get back up to speed, so it may be asking a lot of him to rediscover his fine form from the 2017/18 season – even if the noises from Potter about his performances in training are quite encouraging.
Brighton fans, how delighted will you be to see Izquierdo back on the pitch? Comment below with your views!
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