Brighton boss Potter eager to see Aaron Connolly return

Republic of Ireland youngster ruled out of action for the game against Leicester

Aaron Connolly: the Republic of Ireland forward will miss the game against Leicester City due to a groin injury. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Aaron Connolly: the Republic of Ireland forward will miss the game against Leicester City due to a groin injury. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

 

Brighton boss Graham Potter hopes Aaron Connolly will not face too long on the sidelines.

The 19-year-old forward was forced to pull out of international duty with the senior Republic of Ireland squad because of a groin injury.

Connolly had impressed for Brighton before he picked up the problem during the 3-1 defeat at Manchester United. Potter, though, remains optimistic the young talent will soon be back in action, potentially in time for the trip to Anfield.

“Aaron Connolly will miss the game this weekend with the same groin problem from the Manchester United game,” said the Brighton manager. “Hopefully he will be back for next weekend.”

Belgian winger Leandro Trossard, though, is expected to be involved after sitting out the Euro 2020 qualifying fixture in Russia.

“Leandro Trossard rolled his ankle while he was away – it was more precautionary that he was left out,” Potter said. “He’s trained with us and he’s fine for the weekend.”

Potter reported no other fresh injury concerns following the international break, but captain Lewis Dunk will miss the Leicester match through suspension after the defender collected a fifth caution.

“Shane Duffy and Davy Propper are also back fine,” the Brighton boss added.

Nicolás Gaitán could be on his way to the Premier League in January, with West Ham, Aston Villa and Sheffield United interested in signing the former Argentina winger on a two-year deal.

Lower half

The 31-year-old is available on a free transfer with his contract at MLS side Chicago Fire due to expire at the end of December. Gaitán, who was perennially linked with a move to Manchester United during his spell at Benfica, has an option to remain in the United States for another year but is understood to favour a return to Europe.

He spent the previous season at Chinese side Dalian Yifang.

His return of four goals and 11 assists in 27 MLS appearances has alerted West Ham, with initial talks understood to have taken place between the sporting director, Mario Husillos, and the player’s representative, Matias Lipman, over a January move.

Manuel Pellegrini’s side are struggling in the lower half of the table as they prepare to face Tottenham tomorrow in José Mourinho’s first match since taking over from Mauricio Pochettino.

Resolving West Ham’s defensive issues is the priority for the transfer window, although the manager is believed to have requested more attacking reinforcements as well.

West Ham are expected to face competition from Villa for Gaitán’s signature, while Chris Wilder’s United have also registered an interest. The former Atlético Madrid player has won 16 caps for Argentina but has not made an international appearance since 2016.

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