Injury Blow: Brighton’s Ansu Fati and Tariq Lamptey Face 3-Month Absence
Last Saturday, the Seagulls defeated Nottingham Forest 3-2 on the road in the Premier League. Fati played just 21 minutes, and Lamptey was substituted after 34. Both players hobbled off during the first half of the match.
Since then, Fati and Lamptey have been ruled out of Thursday’s Europa League match in Greece against AEK Athens, as head coach Roberto De Zerbi has disclosed that both players will be sidelined for extended periods of time.
The Italian indicated at a press conference on Thursday that Ansu and Lamptey were both hurt. They’ve been gone from us for a while.
The players that are able to play tomorrow are the main emphasis. Enough for us to be competitive. We will fight to win the game even if I’m not sure if we will win.”
Brighton’s injury situation is becoming worse as both Fati and Lamptey are expected to miss three months each, according to a number of outlets, including The Mirror.
Due to injuries, full-back Lamptey has only played four of his eight games this season. Fati, on loan from Barcelona, joined Brighton in the summer and has since contributed four goals and one assist in 12 starts for the Seagulls.
In addition, Brighton must deal with the long-term absences of Pervis Estupinan, Danny Welbeck (both knee), Solly March, and Julio Enciso (all muscle), while Adam Webster is expected to miss many weeks due to an undisclosed injury.
De Zerbi’s team will also be missing centre-back Jan Paul van Hecke from Thursday’s match against AEK Athens because of a suspension.
But after missing the victory against Forest due to injuries, Kaoru Mitoma, James Milner, and Igor Julio all participated in first-team training on Wednesday night, and the three might be included in the matchday squad to take on the Yellow-Blacks.
Brighton is now in second place in Group B and may go to the Europa League knockout stages if they defeat AEK Athens, who are in third place and three points behind them.
“We must give it our all both on the field and within. For us, it’s a challenge rather than an explanation,” De Zerbi said reporters. “We have the skill to participate in the Europa League.
“We played Nottingham Forest with a fantastic spirit. We had a challenging 90 minutes, but the victory was enjoyable. Both our club and our supporters were overjoyed.
We must enjoy the task. The hardest task is for the really talented athletes and coaches.”
Brighton will be looking for retribution against AEK Athens after losing 3-2 at home to the Greek team in September during their inaugural European game.