"Outstanding player" - Joe Cole hails ex-Chelsea youngster for whom 'vultures are circling'

Joe Cole has spoken about ex-Chelsea defender Tariq Lamptey.
Joe Cole has spoken about ex-Chelsea defender Tariq Lamptey.
Anantaajith Ra

Former Chelsea player Joe Cole has praised Brighton and Hove Albion right-back Tariq Lamptey.

Lamptey is notably a product of the Blues' famed academy and rose through the ranks, making multiple appearances for their U23 side. The 21-year-old started for Brighton last night (18 January) as the Seagulls hosted Thomas Tuchel's outfit at the AMEX Stadium.

Graham Potter's side managed a 1-1 draw following an excellent second-half performance. Many praised Brighton's full-backs, Lamptey and Marc Cucurella, for their roles in the team's display. The former in particular was a thorn in the side for Blues defender Marcos Alonso.

"No one wants to tap it in from two yards, it's not fashionable anymore!" 😂Glenn Murray emphasises the importance of Tariq Lamptey and Marc Cucurella to Graham Potter's side...⚡️ Brighton's flying full-backs ⚡️

Speaking to BT Sport (via The Chelsea Chronicle) after the game, Cole, who coached Lamptey when the latter was at Stamford Bridge, said:

“Yeah, I coached him (Lamptey). He’s an outstanding young player, outstanding young kid as well. One of those you will to do well because he works so hard and he’s such a talent. The only problem they’ve got here now is that the vultures are circling.”

The former footballer added that Brighton need to hold on to Lamptey as he is crucial to their style of play. However, Cole also acknowledged that he will be targeted by many clubs in Europe, stating:

“The big clubs are looking at him because he’s come here and he’s been unbelievable from day one. It’s vital for Brighton to keep him because he’s such an important part to the way they play.”

Tariq Lamptey highlights what Chelsea are missing in excellent display

Chelsea's performances in recent times have warranted criticism and rightly so. Tuchel's side have picked up just three wins in their last 10 Premier League encounters and have struggled on both ends of the pitch.

A major reason for this has been the absence of both their first-choice wing-backs. Reece James and Ben Chilwell are both nursing injuries that have kept the duo out for several weeks. Chilwell, in fact, is not expected to return until next season.

In such a scenario, it would've haunted Chelsea to see the performance of Lamptey at the AMEX Stadium. The 21-year-old was an absolute menace and constantly threatened the Blues backline all night.

Watch Tariq Lamptey’s electric pace as he leaves three Chelsea defenders for dead – as Blues fans demand he be re-signed…

Lamptey would have been an excellent deputy for James, but departed Stamford Bridge in search of more playing time in the summer of 2020. Interestingly, Brighton bought him at a snip for just £3 million.

The young right-back has already attracted plenty of interest as well. Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal have all been linked with a potential move for Lamptey in recent times.

Edited by Sudeshna Banerjee
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