Tribal Football

EXCLUSIVE: Brighton fullback Lamptey on 'amazing' De Zerbi & new signing Osman

EXCLUSIVE: Brighton fullback Lamptey on 'amazing' De Zerbi & new signing Osman
Tariq Lamptey spoke exclusively to Flashscore
Tariq Lamptey spoke exclusively to FlashscoreProfimedia
Tariq Lamptey's (23) development as a promising young talent has been greatly influenced by his time working under Roberto De Zerbi at Brighton & Hove Albion.

The Italian tactician, known for his attacking and possession-based philosophy, took over the Seagulls midway through the 2022/23 season and immediately recognised Lamptey's unique skillset. 

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Under De Zerbi's tutelage, the versatile defender flourished, thriving in Brighton's wing-back system that demanded equal commitment to attacking and defensive responsibilities. 

The coach's meticulous approach to positional play and tactical flexibility perfectly complemented Lamptey's ability to excel in multiple roles across the backline and midfield, allowing him to showcase his pace, dribbling ability, and intelligent movement.

“De Zerbi is an amazing coach, tactically he makes you look at football from a different point of view and I’m grateful to have had different coaches to learn from because as a player that’s what you learn from your experiences and you try and add much to your game as possible,” Lamptey shared with Flashscore.

Tariq Lamptey on Roberto de Zerbi at BrightonOwuraku Ampofo / Flashscore

Despite qualifying the team to Europe for the first time in their history, the former Sassuolo coach left the Seagulls at the end of the recently concluded season. Lamptey added he enjoyed his time with the 45-year-old coach.

“The way he saw the game was different and we played some fantastic football so I really enjoyed my time with him and just try to use the experiences that he gave me to add to my game and make me a better player.”

Throughout Lamptey’s career, he’s played several different roles. Under De Zerbi last season, the Ghanaian pre-dominantly played as a left wing-back with the freedom to bomb forward and support the attack.

His best two games came from the left wing-back role against Manchester United at Old Trafford and then Marseille in the Europa League where he registered two assists and one assist respectively.

“For me, I’m a player that I’ve always played in different positions so right from the youth upwards to the first team.

"I’ve played on the left, on the right in the middle so like wherever I’m put to help the team I don’t have lots of different attributes that can help so whenever I’m on the pitch.

"I’m just focused on the job ahead and what the manager says to me and bringing the best out to make sure the team gets the results so wherever position I’m played in I’m more than happy to do the job for the team.”

Lamptey's versatility has been a valuable asset for Brighton, with the young defender seamlessly adapting to the demands of playing as a traditional right-back or in a more advanced right wing-back role. His blistering pace and dribbling skills make him a potent threat going forward, able to stretch defences and deliver dangerous crosses into the box.

Tariq Lamptey in action for Brighton against Chelsea
Tariq Lamptey in action for Brighton against ChelseaProfimedia

However, Lamptey has also demonstrated a commendable work ethic and defensive awareness when tasked with more defensive responsibilities at right back.

“I think from a tactical point of view, different coaches ask different things. Playing at right back and wingback you have to defend and attack, you have to have the engine to go up and down to help the team in the final third but also defensively be solid and I enjoy that because I like to go forward but I like to do my defending as well.

"I challenge both ways and I just looked forward to the task ahead.”

“Whichever position I’m put in, I seem to like it even better so I don’t know. There’s been games where we have lost the ball that you play high up and it’s great and games where you can come from deep, I’m not really too focused on it,” he added.

Brighton fans will forever remember the just-ended season as they had the opportunity to play European football for the first time ever.

Despite failing to pick up a win in their opening two Europa League games, they finished strong winning their remaining four games to make it to the playoff round. AS Roma proved to be too strong for De Zerbi’s men as they were knocked out of the round of 16.

Lamptey was on the pitch for those two games against Roma which they lost 5-1 on aggregate but still admits the experience was memorable.

“Playing in Europe for the first time with Brighton was an amazing experience for the club, for the fans, for everyone especially and we’re hoping to push again,” he reflected.

Brighton's ambitions for the upcoming season have been further bolstered by the expected £16m arrival of highly-rated winger Ibrahim Osman from Danish side Nordsjaelland. The 19-year-old enjoyed a breakout campaign last season, scoring 10 goals and providing 8 assists, showcasing his eye for goal and creativity from wide areas.

Lamptey, already an experienced player in Brighton's squad, is well aware of Osman's talents.

“You know that Ibrahim Osman is a really good player. He’s young but he’s really good, he’s hardworking so I’m really excited to welcome him into the squad.

"We’ve already spoken about it at the last (Ghana) camp. He’s a good guy and I think he’ll do well so I’ll help him out and he’ll be good just to enjoy his football, that’s what it’s about.”

Tariq Lamptey on Ibrahim OsmanOwuraku Ampofo / Flashscore

After an injury-disrupted 2023/24 season in which Lamptey missed a staggering 31 games across all competitions, he is hungrier than ever to make his mark in the upcoming campaign. "I have to rest first because the season just finished, but after a small break, I'm going to be focused on getting back out there, playing as many games as possible next season," Lamptey states with steely determination. 

The Brighton defender’s driving ambition is crystal clear as he adds, "Making sure that I reach my goals and obviously help the team on a team level, but personally have a good season for both club and country." 

Having been deprived of consistent game time through no fault of his own, Lamptey seems laser-focused on re-establishing himself as a key player for Brighton while also cementing his place in the Ghana national team. 

With the prospects of having a full pre-season under his belt and working with a new coach, all the ingredients are in place for the versatile defender to fight for his place and showcase his abilities week in, week out. "I'm really looking forward to it, and hopefully, it'll be a good season," Lamptey concludes, his sights firmly set on an injury-free, successful 2024/25 campaign.

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