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Tariq Lamptey left Chelsea but remembers advice from Reece James and his studying of Ronaldinho and Dani Alves as a youngster has helped him develop into the ideal, modern day full-back


It takes a brave person to turn your back on one of the world’s biggest clubs in Chelsea but Tariq Lamptey is living proof that leaving there for Brighton isn’t necessarily a step down.

Lamptey departed the club he was with since he was eight years old to try and make his way as a pro in January 2020.

Lamptey made his Chelsea debut in December 2019 and left just a month later

Getty Images – Getty

Lamptey made his Chelsea debut in December 2019 and left just a month later

He’s now settled in at Brighton but still remembers all the nuggets of wisdom he learned in his 11 years at the prestigious Cobham academy.

On leaving Chelsea, Lamptey told talkSPORT: “I was privileged to be in a good place where they allowed me to develop and I’m grateful to them.

“But I feel it was time to try and get regular game time and just try and take my game to the next level and keep developing.

“In Brighton there was a fantastic club who have a good plan and I saw it as a chance to take.”

And what a great decision leaving Chelsea has proved to be

AFP

And what a great decision leaving Chelsea has proved to be

A blistering start to last season was cruelly cut short by a hamstring injury which brought the campaign to an abrupt end.

Lamptey’s return to Brighton’s starting XI this term has been far more steady but bit by bit fans are seeing a return of the young and dynamic full-back they came to know and love.

The full-back role is changing all the time and perceptions of the position are a far cry from the days where Jamie Carragher made his famous “no one wants to be a Gary Neville jibes.”

Failed wingers or centre-halves need not apply any more, with the brilliant play from the likes of Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson making it arguably the sexiest playing position on a football team.

Alexander-Arnold has set the standard for right-backs in England over the last few seasons

Getty

Alexander-Arnold has set the standard for right-backs in England over the last few seasons

But now Reece James, Chelsea’s top scorer this season, is the one many look to right now

Chelsea FC

But now Reece James, Chelsea’s top scorer this season, is the one many look to right now

The demands are high on the likes of Lamptey but he rightly points out he’s learned from the best.

He added: “When I was at Chelsea, Reece James was in the age group older than me. He was always giving me good advice. I’m happy to see him doing well and hopefully that continues.

“There was a good academy at Chelsea and they give you the tools you need to try and develop your game.

“It just so happens that they have a lot of players in that position but they’ve got boys all around that can take it to the next level.

The competition was fierce for Lamptey, who played alongside James at Chelsea as a youngster

getty

The competition was fierce for Lamptey, who played alongside James at Chelsea as a youngster

“The game keeps advancing and as a full-back you have to be prepared to defend first but try and contribute to the team with assists or goals. That’s how it is at the moment which is brilliant for me because I love to get forward and also like defending.

“When I was a kid I liked watching Dani Alves and Ronaldinho but I also loved watching Ashley Cole bomb up and down even though it was on the left flank. He had great energy and the technique he had was amazing.”

Lamptey also revealed in his wide-ranging interview on Boot Room that he spent a lot of his time reading all kinds of genre of books when recovering from his lengthy injury.

And it’s perhaps his ability to educate his football brain even as a youngster when watching clips of the Brazil icons and Cole that’s stood him in such good stead to thrive at the Amex Stadium.

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