Too early for Jurgen Locadia’s Brighton debut, says Chris Hughton
The £14million striker may have to wait another week before making his Seagulls debut.
Jurgen Locadia has handed Brighton boss Chris Hughton a major boost by training for the first time since his club-record switch.
The £14million striker arrived from PSV Eindhoven carrying a hamstring injury but is now almost ready to be pitched into Albion’s relegation battle.
And with Brighton having found the net just 18 times in 25 games this season, Locadia’s debut cannot come soon enough.
“He trained today, which is good news,” said Hughton.
“It’s not early enough, considering he’s been out for six weeks, for West Ham on Saturday but we are hopeful he will play some part in the Stoke game next weekend.
“But it’s good to see him on the training pitch today, he showed no ill-effects from the injury but he needs to build up his fitness base again.”
Hughton boosted his attacking options further by re-signing Leonardo Ulloa from Leicester.
The Argentinian, who scored 26 goals in 58 appearances during his first spell on the south coast, came on as a late substitute during Wednesday night’s 1-1 draw at Southampton and should feature in another crucial clash against West Ham at the Amex.
“We brought him in because he’s a player who we know is hungry and who is desperate to get minutes,” added Hughton.
“He doesn’t need a settling in period and he’s a player who, although perhaps has not played as many games as he’d like, he has played in Premier League for the last few seasons and I think he will make a big impact on the squad.
“It seems every game we play is the most important one, and of course the significance of our game at Southampton is if you are able to get a result it’s points they don’t get.
“West Ham also fall into that category. It makes it a different type of game, one we don’t want to lose, but we are at home and need to take the opportunity to get three points.”