Tariq Lamptey is on the verge of extending his contract at Brighton, putting an end to speculation around his future at the club.
The right back has been a revelation at the AMEX Community Stadium since signing from Chelsea in January 2020, exploding onto the scene and into the first-team picture.
Playing mostly as a wing-back under Graham Potter, Lamptey has shown impressive defensive ability as well as a willingness to create when going forward and his level of performance has seen him linked with some of Europe’s best clubs.
Rumours had been swirling that Bayern Munich, Arsenal and Manchester United all had an interest in the 20-year-old defender but it seems that Brighton have been able to convince him to extend his stay in the Premier League with them.
He has cemented his place as a starting defender in the Brighton side and that has seen his development come on leaps and bounds. He is now regarded as one of the most exciting prospects in the league just a year after making his first senior appearance, for Chelsea against Arsenal as a substitute.
Many had expected him to take the opportunity to move on, with Brighton’s involvement in the Premier League beyond this season far from assured. Potter’s side are currently in 17th place in the league, with just two wins from 18 games so far this season.
Relegation would almost certainly be the end of his time at the club and it’s possible that any new deal would reflect that, with the potential of a release clause being included definitely a possibility.
A pre-agreed clause with the player would allow the club to set their price for the player now in the event that they do drop out of the top flight, with his list of suitors only likely to grow as the season progresses.
But his decision to stay put for the remainder of the campaign is a sensible one. He’s getting minutes, playing well and despite Brighton’s poor results he is standing out with his performances. He’s getting top-flight experience in different systems too, with the Seagulls switching between a five-at-the-back system with wing-backs and a more traditional four-at-the-back system.
With regular game time and strong performances Lamptey is impressing everyone, including the England manager Gareth Southgate ahead of Euro 2020. That continuity is important, especially mid-season, and makes the decision to stay put the right one.
Brighton will be absolutely delighted by the decision and now must work on staying in the Premier League to have a chance at keeping him beyond this season, new contract or not.