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Dublin: 9°C Friday 16 April 2021

Ireland's Aaron Connolly earns new four-year contract with Brighton

The 20-year-old Galway man scored three Premier League goals this season.

REPUBLIC OF IRELAND international Aaron Connolly has signed a new four-year contract with Premier League club Brighton.

The 20-year-old forward earned his new deal with an impressive season in which he scored three Premier League goals and made 27 appearances overall for the English club.

burnley-v-brighton-and-hove-albion-premier-league-turf-moor Connolly celebrates a goal last weekend against Burnley. Source: Richard Heathcote

The Galway man made his Ireland debut off the bench against Georgia last October and featured against Switzerland the following week. 

Connolly will hope to be prominently involved under new national team manager Stephen Kenny, while he’s excited about his new contract with Brighton.

“It’s fantastic the club have given me this kind of security because it means I can push on now for the next four years,” said Connolly. “It will help me relax and enjoy my football even more.

“This season has been unbelievable at times and obviously the Tottenham game when I scored twice was a big moment for me. But then I had the dip where I didn’t get the goals which was tough to take.

“But to get one against Burnley on the final day of the season and to go into the break knowing I have scored another goal since Spurs was a great feeling. I am just looking forward improving even more next season.”

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Former Mervue United man Connolly also paid tribute to his Brighton manager, Graham Potter, for the faith he has shown in young players at the club.

“Without the manager I don’t think I would have played any Premier League games for Brighton by now,” said Connolly.

“I owe a lot to him and I want to repay that faith that he has shown in me next season. The trust he has put in me is a huge bonus even without the goals, so if I can score regularly next season it will make me even happier.”

Brighton finished 15th in the Premier League this season and will hope Connolly can be part of their development in the coming years.

The club’s technical director, Dan Ashworth, underlined Connolly’s work ethic in welcoming his new contract.

“It’s been a breakthrough season for Aaron but he is always looking to improve every aspect of his game,” said Ashworth.

His new contract will give him stability and the opportunity to really develop with us. We’re looking forward to working with him and helping to make him an even better player.”

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