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Potter prepared to put faith in 'sharp' Connolly for Brighton's relegation scrap

The Irish youngster will be in contention for his side’s Premier League return tomorrow against Arsenal.

Aaron Connolly tangles with David Luiz during the Premier League game between Arsenal and Brighton last December.
Aaron Connolly tangles with David Luiz during the Premier League game between Arsenal and Brighton last December.
Image: Adam Davy

BRIGHTON & HOVE ALBION manager Graham Potter says Irish youngster Aaron Connolly is ready to play his part in helping the club to avoid relegation from the Premier League.

Connolly looked set to miss the remainder of the season after undergoing surgery on an ankle injury back in March.

However, the rescheduling of the campaign due to the Covid-19 pandemic has allowed the 20-year-old striker to return in time to be invovled in his club’s nine-game run-in.

That begins for Brighton – who sit two points above the relegation zone – with a home game against Arsenal tomorrow. According to Graham Potter, Connolly is in contention to feature.

“He has come back well and worked hard after the break. The physios have done a really good job on him,” the Brighton boss said of the Galway native, as reported by the Brighton & Hove Independent.

Connolly has made 17 Premier League appearances so far this season, marking his first start last October by scoring twice in a 3-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur.

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His form is likely to be monitored closely by Stephen Kenny. The new Ireland manager gave Connolly his U21 international debut before he graduated to the senior set-up, winning two caps under Mick McCarthy.

In addition to tomorrow’s clash with Arsenal, Brighton’s schedule for the rest of the campaign includes home fixtures against Manchester United, Liverpool and Manchester City.

Potter added: “He [Connolly] is looking good, he is looking fit and strong and sharp and I think he can definitely help us over nine matches.

“He is a young player and a sprinter so you have to be careful with his recovery times. I think he will be ready to help us, that’s for sure.”

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Paul Dollery

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