Graham Potter hailed Tariq Lamptey as “unique” ahead of Brighton’s clash with relegation-threatened Fulham on Wednesday.
The 20-year-old has started 10 of Brighton’s 12 Premier League games this campaign following his transfer from Chelsea in January and has made an instant impact for the Seagulls, including a goal against Tottenham on November 1.
Lamptey missed the 3-0 defeat to Leicester on Sunday with a hamstring problem but could return for the Fulham game and Potter believes the defender could be important for Brighton.
“He’s unique isn’t he? There is not another Tariq, that’s for sure,” the Seagulls boss said.
“Whoever we replace him with, it is a different dynamic. That’s not to say you can’t function without Tariq because you can.
“But it certainly provides a bit of clarity from how we are attacking and he gives you physicality and speed in the wide areas, which keeps the opposition on their toes in that particular area of the pitch.
“But I think that’s the nature of football. Everyone has got players who are integral or important to their set-up and then they might lose them for a game or two, whatever it is, and then you have to find another solution. That’s the beauty of football.”