Chris Hughton won’t rush Brighton record signing Jurgen Locadia back from injury
Brighton’s record signing Jurgen Locadia will not be rushed back from injury to make his debut, Albion manager Chris Hughton has said.Dutch striker Locadia cost a reported £14million from Eredivisie leaders PSV Eindhoven last week but arrived at the Amex Stadium carrying a hamstring problem.The former Holland Under-21 international will be one of only two absentees …
Brighton’s record signing Jurgen Locadia will not be rushed back from injury to make his debut, Albion manager Chris Hughton has said.
Dutch striker Locadia cost a reported £14million from Eredivisie leaders PSV Eindhoven last week but arrived at the Amex Stadium carrying a hamstring problem.
The former Holland Under-21 international will be one of only two absentees for Albion’s FA Cup fourth round tie at Middlesbrough on Saturday, along with midfielder Steve Sidwell, leaving top-scorer Glenn Murray, Tomer Hemed and Sam Baldock as the options up front.
Boss Hughton expects 24-year-old Locadia to be sidelined for at least a further fortnight and thinks it is important not to compromise his recovery by thrusting him into Albion’s Premier League relegation battle too early.
“We’re expecting him to be fit in a couple of weeks,” Hughton said.
“As regards settling in, he’s settled in very well. The work that he has done with our medical department outside, he’s done some really good work outside.
“He came with an injury which we are aware of, we have now taken that (treatment) over.
“For as quickly as we want to get him back, we’ve got to make sure that it’s right.
“He’s looked very good outside, (I’m) very much look forward to getting him fully fit and of course into the squad and team.”
Despite Locadia taking the tag of Albion’s most expensive player from summer recruit Jose Izquierdo, Hughton does not feel the hefty transfer fee will become a burden.
“I don’t think there is that pressure and if I’m looking at what the club paid for him that has almost become the norm for a striker of this level,” Hughton added.
Albion are continuing to search for more new signings before the January transfer window closes next week.
They have reportedly had bids rejected for Newcastle striker Aleksandar Mitrovic and Bristol City defender Aden Flint, although Hughton was reluctant to talk about either player.
“What will happen as always at this time, every press conference that I do, names are going to be mentioned. The difficulty that us as managers have is that they are always other teams’ players and we are always respectful of that.
“Any business that we do or don’t do, we will certainly give you that information on anything that is definite but until then they are always other teams’ players.
“Most business doesn’t tend to get done until that last week and we’re trying and pushing to make sure we have the best squad possible.”
The Seagulls may also have some departures during the remainder of the month, with midfielder Oliver Norwood, who is on loan at Fulham, linked with a permanent move to Craven Cottage.
On that potential deal, Hughton said: “If it’s right for all three parties, including Olly himself, then possibly something will be done.
“At this moment he’s still our player and we’re delighted that he’s playing regular games.”