Graham Potter’s team held on for a 1-1 draw against Newcastle at the Amex Stadium last Saturday. Brighton have flat-lined off late and drawn four and lost once in their last five Premier League matches. But four victories before that run – against Burnley, Watford, Brentford, and Leicester, built a solid foundation. It remains Brighton’s best-ever start to a Premier League season, and they currently sit in seventh place on 17 points from 11 matches.
The return of Tariq Lamptey from a long hamstring injury is a huge plus for Brighton. He made his first tentative steps back as a second-half substitute in the 0-0 at Norwich and then made significant impacts from the bench against Liverpool and Man City. He started against Newcastle and was used higher up the pitch, and his performance was encouraging. Brighton have a hugely gifted player on their hands.
Tariq Lamptey is a young right-back with bags of potential, receiving multiple appearances in England’s youth team setup. When he has been starting for Brighton, however, he has produced top-class performances and has been a standout player in a somewhat mediocre Brighton side from previous years. Lamptey has only scored one professional goal in his career, although, he has been predominantly played as a defensive right back in the Brighton team.
Since his return to the pitch, the former Chelsea academy graduate has been allowed to play in a more advanced midfield style role, which allows him to utilize his attacking abilities more often during a match. The change in position was evident in the match against the Magpies as Lamptey caused trouble for much of the game and almost scored during the second half, only to be denied by goalkeeper Karl Darlow.
Lamptey was a constant threat from the right flank as he made many crosses into the penalty area and these crosses generated a very high xT. Lamptey is very good on the ball and can put in inch-perfect crosses from the right flank. Brighton have been very strong in keeping possession of the ball and building the game towards the goal but have failed to score many goals. They have only scored 12 goals in 11 games. Having Lamptey in the squad will give Brighton an edge in attacking, as they can push more players in the final third, which gives them a higher chance to score goals. Lamptey can provide the width on the pitch, which will help them spread the game and push the opposition’s defense back in their half.
Lamptey also attempted two shots on goal and forced a save from the Newcastle keeper. The full-back has been playing in a higher role since his return from injury, but his manager suggests that Lamptey might shift back to the right-back position once he builds up minutes or as the tactical challenge demands.
Lamptey has attempted several duels on the right flank since he has come back into the Brighton team and has been successful with most of these duels. Lamptey is a very quick player, and this pace helps him to win most of the defensive and loose ball duels he attempts. The above visual also indicates that he has been involved in more duels in the opposition’s half as he played higher up the pitch.
Tariq Lamptey is a player with great defensive as well as offensive skills and can be an asset to Brighton moving forward in the season. The main problem for Brighton has been the lack of depth in their squad. The comeback of Lamptey can provide that depth on the right flank as he can play both types of roles, be it as a full back or playing higher in a midfield role. Brighton will look to get their Premier League season back on track after the international break as they face Aston Villa this weekend.