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Dublin: 6 °C Sunday 26 January, 2020

'You can see his qualities' - Brighton manager commends Connolly's progress

The Ireland U21 international will be hoping to get more minutes on the pitch when the Seagulls take on Aston Villa on Wednesday night.

Connolly scored in the last round of the Carabao Cup.
Connolly scored in the last round of the Carabao Cup.
Image: David Davies

BRIGHTON AND HOVE Albion manager Graham Potter says he is happy with how Aaron Connolly is developing in the first team. 

Arguably the most exciting Irish talent coming through right now, the Galway native was named Premier League 2 Player of the Year last season thanks to his exploits for the club’s reserve team. 

The 19-year-old stated his intention to break into the Seagulls’ senior side, and he has made three Premier League appearances so far this term — all as a second-half substitute. 

Connolly was a Fabian Schar goal-line clearance away from opening his league account away to Newcastle over the weekend, but he has already scored in the Carabao Cup second-round win over Bristol Rovers

Brighton meet Aston Villa in the next round tomorrow evening, and the Ireland U21 international will be aiming to impress once again — if, as expected, he is given the chance. 

“He’s been with us from start, trained everyday with the group, so I think he feels comfortable with the boys,” said manager Graham Potter.  

“You can see his qualities — he wants to run towards goal, he can finish, he likes to score, and that’s a really important characteristic to have on a football pitch. 

But he’s a young player and we’re just making sure he has the right pathway to the team, and then [we need to] help him to improve everyday.

“He’s at that stage where he just needs to focus on his football, try to improve and understand the opportunity that he’s got.

“He nearly scored on Saturday and we’re happy to have him with us.”

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Ben Blake

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