TARIQ LAMPTEY’S meteoric rise has happened so fast that even he has been left stunned by it.
The 19-year-old has been a revelation since joining Brighton from Chelsea’s reserves in January and last week earned his first England Under-21 cap.
What has been most impressive about the right-back’s progress in 2020 is how he shows no fear nor any regard for the reputation of the players he comes up against.
That will no doubt continue to be the case when he faces Timo Werner, Kai Havertz and Co when his old side visit the Amex on Monday night.
Lamptey said: “It’s happened so fast, it’s unbelievable.
“Sometimes I just have to sit back and think, ‘Wow, this is a lot.
“But I’ve worked hard to get here and I’m grateful that I’ve got the opportunities that I’ve been getting.
“Hopefully it’s just the start and I can keep improving, building and getting better and better.
“I’m very determined. Whoever I play against, you have to give them respect because they’re top quality players, but you also have to back yourself and have belief in yourself.
“I believe that I have got the ability to make the best of it and get the better of my man.
“That’s just my game. I’m not scared to take on players or who is ahead of me, it’s just another player that I have to try to get the better of.”
Brighton fans will be licking their lips at the prospect of Lamptey forming a partnership with Ben White down the right side fo Graham Potter’s defence.
Both players look serious prospects who have the potential to be knocking on the door of the senior England team one day.
He has energy, fleet of foot and he’s brave. We definitely like what we see
Though Lamptey has a heck of a job given the incredible competition he has in the right-back berth.
Had he not made the move from Chelsea last January, the likelihood is most people would not even know who he is.
Let alone would he have turned out for the Lion Cubs in their 2-1 win in Austria last week.
His international manager Aidy Boothroyd added: “I think it was a brave move and good move. I think he’ll flourish at Brighton.
“We’ve seen him up close, he’s been in our Under-20s, our Under-19s, he’s been in our system before.
“He has energy, fleet of foot and he’s brave. We definitely like what we see.”