'Outstanding' player thought about leaving Chelsea 'every day' before exit was sealed

Sam Preston November 12, 2020
'Outstanding' player thought about leaving Chelsea 'every day' before exit was sealed
Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Frank Lampard has done an exceptional job at Chelsea in terms of bringing through the club’s young players – but there’s one that got away.

Tariq Lamptey left Stamford Bridge to join Brighton on transfer deadline day in January.

And he has been earning rave reviews at the Amex Stadium, with Match of the Day pundit Alan Shearer calling him ‘outstanding’ in September.

Now, speaking to the Adidas X podcast, Lamptey has lifted the lid on the decision-making process behind leaving the club he’d been at since the age of nine.

Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

“I’m an ambitious boy,” said Lamptey. “I’d had a taste of it and I wasn’t going to let it go. I sat down with the coaches, family and agents and thought about what’s best for me. It was a really tough decision.

“Being at a club since the age of nine, but I had to look at where I would get the most football and how I could take my game to the next level. It wasn’t an easy decision. I thought about it every day.

“But the opportunity came for me to come to Brighton, which is a fantastic club with a really good plan for the team, and the move made a lot of sense. I thought Brighton would be the best club for me.”

In truth, with the emergence of Reece James as well, it was unlikely Lamptey would have got the gametime he wanted at Chelsea.

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He deserves credit for taking the bold decision to make an early move and get regular Premier League football.

Too many Chelsea players have had a host of loan spells which have stalled their career.

But Lamptey took his fate into his own hands and moved to Brighton – which is paying off handsomely so far.

It’s clear from his comments he is supremely confident and knows what he wants from his career in the game. He’s got an exciting future and a mature head.

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Sam Preston a senior football writer for the Boot Room and United in Focus. He is an NCTJ gold standard news and sports journalist with five years of professional experience writing digital content. He studied with the Press Association and also has a 2:1 Law with French Law degree from the University of Birmingham, which included a year studying at Bordeaux Montaigne University. He is an FA Level 1 football coach who appeared on the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire show in 2018 and has also written digital football content and match-day programme pieces for Burnley, Colchester United, Mansfield Town and Stockport County.