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Brighton signing this 26-year-old Belgian star would be a fantastic addition to their backline

Jordan Lukaku had been linked with Brighton in the summer (Getty Images)

Why Brighton should reignite their interest in Jordan Lukaku

Back in September, Italian outlet Il Messagero (h/t Sussex Live) had mentioned Brighton and Hove Albion among the potential suitors for Lazio full-back Jordan Lukaku.

Premier League rivals Leeds United were also understood to be keen on the Belgian international but the player eventually completed a loan move to Royal Antwerp in his homeland after being deemed surplus to requirements at Lazio.

Profile

A youth exponent of Anderlecht, Jordan Lukaku made his debut in the Belgian top-flight during the 2011-12 season. However, he joined KV Oostende, initially on loan before completing a permanent move, having struggled for playtime at his boyhood club. Lukaku made 83 appearances for Oostende over three seasons, registering 3 goals and 10 assists.

Lukaku was snapped up by Lazio in the summer of 2016, but the left-back did not really manage to cement himself as a regular fixture for the Italian club due to injuries and stiff competition for places. 

The 26-year-old made 85 appearances for the Biancocelesti in all competitions, scoring once and registering 8 assists, although a large fraction of those outings came as cameos off the bench. He joined Royal Antwerp on a season-long loan this past summer. A full international for Belgium since 2015, Lukaku has earned 8 caps for his nation so far. 

Jordan Lukaku (L) in action against Juventus (Getty Images)
Jordan Lukaku (L) in action against Juventus (Getty Images)

Lukaku would add more dynamism to Brighton’s ranks

Graham Potter has largely favoured a back-three system this term, with Tariq Lamptey and Solly March operating as the wing-backs. Both players have been among the standout performers for the Seagulls, providing valuable width in the final third.

While March has been an obvious beneficiary of the manager’s tactics, the likes of Bernardo and Dan Burn have struggled for regular minutes at the Amex Stadium. 

Standing at 6ft. 7 inches Burn doesn’t fit the mould of a progressive wing-back to provide a counter-attacking threat to Potter’s system. Bernardo, meanwhile, has been used sparingly by the manager since the start of last season. The Brazilian is yet to start a single league game for the Seagulls this season so far.

Putting things into context, Brighton can certainly do with better competition for places on the left flank and Jordan Lukaku fits the bill as a versatile operator. The Belgian is adept at playing anywhere down the left-hand side of the pitch and would offer quality cover for the Seagulls moving forward. 

Jordan Lukaku struggled with injuries last season (Getty Images)
Jordan Lukaku struggled with injuries last season (Getty Images)

Lukaku has seen his playtime at Lazio limited to a large extent due to recurrent injuries over the past few years. And while he hasn’t played a lot at loan club Royal Antwerp, he has shown glimpses of his quality, registering two assists in four games already.

When fit, though, the Belgian can be a really useful player with his searing pace and ability to cover every blade of grass down the flanks. With more than 150 club career appearances under his belt, Brighton can definitely expect Lukaku to make an impact in the Premier League.

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Verdict

Regarded as a promising player in his youth, Jordan Lukaku undoubtedly has the capacity to achieve more in the game that he currently has. The Belgian still potentially has his best years ahead of him at 26, thus making him worth a punt for Brighton.

Written by Sayan Chatterjee

A Premier League enthusiast and an avid follower of the beautiful game.

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