Aaron Connolly in line to make most of Brighton’s attacking injury crisis

Aaron Connolly

Graham Potter may have offered an opening of sorts to Aaron Connolly.

Brighton boss Graham Potter has offered Aaron Connolly a route to more regular first-team football as the Seagulls grapple with an injury crisis in their forward department.

Connolly, 21, has struggled for gametime throughout much of the Premier League season so far, but an injury to Danny Welbeck may open the door for him to take his chance.

The Galwegian was an unused player in Ireland’s most recent international break – but he did start in Brighton’s Carabao Cup defeat to Leicester City on Wednesday night.

Aaron Connolly.

An injury to Brighton’s Danny Welbeck now means that the Seagulls have two fit senior strikers in Neil Maupay and Connolly – with Potter explaining that an opportunity is there for one of his younger stars to make the most of whatever chance comes their way.

Potter also namechecked the club’s Under-23 players for a potential debut, with former Bohemians and St Kevin’s Boys forward Evan Ferguson also impressing there for Brighton.

“The under-23s are there, and if we have loan recall options in January that is something we can look at,” Potter said last night in light of his attacking injury crisis. “But again in a hypothetical situation until it happens, can’t really say anything else.

“Of course, if you need to, there are some talented young players at the club.”

Brighton boss Graham Potter on Aaron Connolly.

While a blow in a team sense, Connolly will now be hoping that he can make the most of this himself as he looks to catapult himself back into the Brighton starting XI.

Ahead of Wednesday’s cup defeat to Leicester City, Connolly was praised by his manager who backed him to take his opportunity when it presented itself to him again.

“We were really pleased with Aaron in the last [cup] game,” he said. “It was nice for him to get some goals. We have been picking up points in the Premier League so it is not so easy [on the bench], but that is how life is.

“You have to wait your chance, be patient, you have to keep working, to keep focus on yourself and make sure that if the opportunity comes that you are ready and you can take it.”

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