Transfer Talk: Seagulls sensation Lamptey set to fly the nest
For the second time in three weeks, Brighton and Chelsea meet in the Premier League tonight.
It gives Tariq Lamptey another chance to remind Blues fans what they are missing after selling him two years ago.
Lamptey, 21, continues to impress on the South Coast and looks set to eventually outgrow the Seagulls.
But which of the big six clubs may be in for the Chelsea academy product?
Lamptey had always been highly-rated at Chelsea. They liked him as a player and knew he would have a successful career.
But Reece James and Cesar Azpilicueta were ahead of him in the pecking order and the Hillingdon-born right-back was desperate to make the next step.
On his move, has had previously said: "I sat down with the coaches, family members 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, going up through the whole system and making your first-team debut, everything happened so quickly, 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."
Hit the ground running
Lamptey had made one Premier League appearance off the bench at Arsenal and two brief FA Cup appearances before leaving Chelsea.
He had to wait for his chance at Brighton too — it was not until June 2020 that he finally got his opportunity.
And boy did he take it, starting seven of the final eight games of the protracted 2019-20 season as his stock rose.
Team-mate Adam Webster said: "He’s done amazing since he’s come in. I remember watching him on his debut for Chelsea and thinking ‘This guy’s a player’.
"Ever since he’s come in, every day in training he works so hard. You can see the ability he’s got.
"He’s got everything. Athletically, he’s so fast and so strong. He doesn’t get beat in a one-v-one.
"Technically, he’s very good. The best thing is he is a lovely kid. He’s so humble. He has a bright future in front of him."
Lamptey has spent the majority of his time on the South Coast playing as a right wing-back — and occasionally even further forward.
A bad hamstring injury last season means he has still only made 32 league appearances for the Seagulls.
But his stats going forward in that time show why he is so highly rated and tipped to move on.
He has 0.17 big chances created per 90 (11th of all wing-backs and right-backs to have played in that time) and 1.18 chances created (ninth).
Only two players have attempted more than his 3.32 take-ons and only five have completed more than his 1.58 per game.
He is similarly highly-ranked for crosses completed (ninth) and assists per game (11th), despite limited football compared to others.
Defensively, his statistics stack up too. He is ninth for interceptions (1.63) and 12th for challenges lost (0.73).
Despite his limited experience, Lamptey can count some of the country's biggest clubs in his list of suitors.
Chelsea, surprisingly, did not include a buy-back clause when they sold him so it really is a free for all.
Despite Arsenal being heavily tipped to sign him last summer, it is Manchester United who perhaps have the biggest need.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka has not proven as smart a signing as the Red Devils had hoped and recent links come as little surprise.
Manchester City, Chelsea and Liverpool all have quality in that position and would perhaps only move in a year or two’s time.
Takehiro Tomiyasu’s emergence at the Gunners means they have more pressing needs while Spurs have Emerson Royal and are not the easiest sell to any player currently.
Like Ben White last summer, Lamptey will be sold by the Seagulls.
They will hope he stays fit and puts in a run of stellar performances to drive his asking price up even further.