The rise of Tariq Lamptey: How excited should Albion fans be?

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The Seagulls have been struggling for form of late, with only one win from their opening eight premier league games this season. One ray of light during this time of turmoil has been the 20 year old right wing back Tariq Lamptey. His electrifying pace has provided moments of great excitement this season. His performances haven’t gone unnoticed either, with rumours suggesting Bayern Munich are interested in his services.

In order to understand the kind of player Brighton have, it is important to analyse his beginnings. Lamptey was born in Hillingdon, Greater London, and by the age of 8 he had been integrated into the Chelsea academy, where he remained for over a decade. Last season, Chelsea manager Frank Lampard made good use of academy talent, and this season it’s looking like his investment will be rewarded. Reece James, who is the same age and plays in the same position as Lamptey, has flourished in the Chelsea first team over the past couple of seasons, having appeared 46 times, memorably scoring in a thrilling 4-4 draw with Ajax in 2019.

Before leaving for Brighton, Lamptey was part of this exceptionally talented group of Chelsea youngsters.

Unfortunately for Lamptey but fortunately for Brighton, James’ good form limited Lamptey’s first team opportunities at Chelsea. He was still highly thought of at Stamford Bridge, however; in January 2019, with only 6 months left on his contract, Chelsea offered him a new deal.

To everyone’s surprise, Lamptey took the brave decision to leave Chelsea in pursuit of regular first team football. Given that only a few months remained on his contract, Brighton managed to strike a deal for a bargain £3 million.

Lamptey showed glimpses of brilliance last season in the 8 appearances he made, with a particularly outstanding performance away at Leicester, putting down a marker for why he should be considered the best full back at the club.

Potter made clear signs over the summer that Lamptey was his first choice right back, evident in the departures of full backs Montoya and Schelotto. Lamptey has started every game in the league for Potter this season, registering two assists and one goal. His performances have earned praise from fans and pundits alike.

Potter has deployed a 3-5-2 formation this season. Lamptey plays right wing back, allowing him to use his pace in both defence and attack. He has been stretching teams out wide to the benefit of Lallana and Trossard who utilise the pockets of space he leaves for them on the inside.

The youngster often utilises his pace, recording 1.3 successful dribbles and drawing 2.5 fouls per game. The attacking side of the game is so vital for a modern day full back. Trent Alexander-Arnold boasts 25 assists and 2 goals over the past two seasons. These are the standards that are expected of full backs now.

Another area that Lamptey has been working on is his crossing. For an attacking full-back, being able to cross a ball with precision and conviction is important. So far this season, crosses have not come in abundance. He averages 2.81 per game, with a 40% accuracy.

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He has the skill and pace to better full-backs in a one-on-one situation, so developing killer crossing skills could really take his game to the next level.

After the first two league games, Lamptey had won the second-most offensive duels in the Premier League, averaging 11.81 per game. He is now second only to Adama Traoré, a player who is deployed as an out-and-out winger for Wolves.

There are doubts over Lamptey’s defensive capabilities, but with experience this should improve. It also seems clear that his main role is an offensive one, as long as the Seagulls stick with the 3-5-2 system, his defensive frailties will be protected.

Lamptey is a true modern day full back; deadly in attack and with bags of potential in defence. It is easy to see why some of the top clubs in Europe have been taking note of his performances.

Brighton have a real player on their hands and fans have every reason to be excited.  Hopefully Lamptey stays with the Albion for the foreseeable future and we can carry on enjoying every appearance he makes, perhaps live at the Amex in December?

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