Brighton defender Haydon Roberts is reportedly in the club’s long-term plans but could be loaned out for the 2020/21 season.
That’s according to a report from The Athletic, which claimed that the 18-year-old is in contract talks at the Amex Stadium but is likely to spend the next few months out on loan in order to gain experience.
According to The Athletic, the League One trio of Blackpool, AFC Wimbledon and Sunderland are all interested in a loan move for the young centre-back.
Roberts, who has five caps for England at under-18 level, made his senior debut for Brighton in last season’s Carabao Cup and scored in that game against Aston Villa but that remains his only appearance in the first team, while he has not yet been loaned out to gain experience elsewhere.
As a centre-back, he has a lengthy queue of players ahead of him at the Amex, including club captain Lewis Dunk, Adam Webster, Shane Duffy, returning loan duo Ben White and Matt Clarke and summer arrival Joel Veltman. Even with Duffy and Clarke touted for moves away, either permanently or on loan, that is still an extensive level of competition for places in Graham Potter’s line-up.
Roberts has shown at underage level for Brighton that he is flexible, having also played at left-back and in defensive midfield on a few occasions, while a return of six goals in 59 appearances between the Seagulls’ first team and youth sides is respectable for a defender (as per TransferMarkt).
The 18-year-old seems a talented prospect judging by those figures and Brighton’s desire to extend his contract but, with such frenetic competition for just two centre-back berths in Potter’s line-up, he cannot realistically expect to be in first team contention at the Amex any time soon.
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Therefore, a loan spell to a League One side should be beneficial for him in terms of giving him exposure at senior level before coming back to his parent club as a more mature and developed player who still has his whole career ahead of him.
Brighton fans, where do you think would be an ideal loan club for Roberts? Join in the discussion by commenting below!
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