Premier League • England

De Zerbi reacts in just eight words as Brighton confirm new contract for Kaoru Mitoma

Roberto De Zerbi hugging Brighton winger Kaoru Mitoma

Roberto De Zerbi hugging Kaoru Mitoma

Brighton have confirmed that Kaoru Mitoma has extended his contract with the club until 2027 – but the quote given by head coach Roberto De Zerbi in their announcement was surprisingly blunt.

Mitoma established himself as a key player for Brighton last season, so it became a priority for them to renew his deal for the long term after other clubs in the Premier League began adding him to their list of targets.

TEAMtalk revealed back in August that Mitoma was in line for a new contract and Brighton have now confirmed he has put pen to paper. His new deal will last for another four seasons.

In their announcement, Brighton carried quotes from technical director David Weir, who said: “Ensuring that a player of Kaoru’s quality will remain with us for the long term is fantastic news.

“Kaoru adapted to the Premier League last season and has quickly become one of our most important players.

“His success is also a reflection of the work of the departments that have played a role in his recruitment, helped him gain important experience on loan and ultimately become a big part of Roberto’s first team group.

“I have no doubt that our supporters will be delighted with the news.”

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The reaction provided by De Zerbi was much more brief, though. Brighton’s head coach simply said: “It’s great news. Kaoru is our top player.”

De Zerbi does have a press conference coming up at 1:30pm, though, in which he might react in more detail to what it means to him to be able to keep Mitoma.

Mitoma has made positive impact for Brighton

The Japan international was integrated into the Brighton first team last season after spending time on loan at Union SG in Belgium. During his debut season, he scored 10 goals from 41 games.

This season already, he has scored three goals from 11 games – and now De Zerbi can plan to rely on him for longer.

Since he is 26 years old now, Mitoma would be staying at Brighton for his prime years if he fulfils his contract. It remains to be seen how any of the clubs that were keeping tabs on him might react in future transfer windows.

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