Evolving Brighton relish having forgotten man supplying the assists

Tariq Lamptey
Tariq Lamptey

Joe Bradshaw, BBC Sport

Six of the 15 players who donned a Brighton shirt for their victory over Manchester United on the opening day of last season have gone and yet Albion looked stronger than ever on Saturday.

In dispatching their illustrious hosts, Roberto de Zerbi’s side became only the third team to win four Premier League games in a row against the Red Devils, and deservedly so after a composed performance bristling with menace and well-taken goals.

This was all without Evan Ferguson as well, highly touted and fresh from his impressive hat-trick against Newcastle before the international break.

And, despite all the new arrivals since the start of 2022-23 season, it was a delight to see the somewhat forgotten Tariq Lamptey scampering down the left flank and supplying two assists.

Last season, he managed fewer than 500 Premier League minutes, making just three starts. But at Old Trafford, he spent almost as much time in the United half as he did in his own as the third-most advanced player in De Zerbi’s side (number 2).

Regular left-back Pervis Estupinan got a well-earned rest after playing 180 minutes on Ecuador duty in South America over the last two weeks and perhaps he faces a fight for his place with Lamptey fit and firing.

However, his stats have been firmly impressive too, creating at least two chances a game in the first four matches and scoring against Wolves.

Could they play in tandem? After all, Lamptey is a more natural right-back and was only filling in on the left.

De Zerbi tends to favour a more solid option on the opposite flank to provide some stability, that role so far being shared by James Milner and Joel Veltman.

Lamptey may have to be patient but, with European football kicking off this week, there will need for rotation and the Ghana defender has given a handy reminder of his copious talents before AEK Athens come to town on Thursday.

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