Brighton defender Tariq Lamptey says he left Chelsea because he is “ambitious” and thought the move could take him to “the next level”.
Lamptey has enjoyed a promising start to the season on an individual basis. He has started all eight of Brighton’s games in the Premier League, providing one goal and one assist.
This is Lamptey’s first full season at Brighton, after joining the club in January. The move brought an end to a 12-year association with Chelsea, whose academy he came through.
The 20-year-old made three senior appearances – one in the league, two in the FA Cup – under Frank Lampard last season. However, when the January transfer window opened, he chose to move to pastures new at Brighton.
The move seems to be paying off, as Lamptey has played frequently since. He earned his first cap at England under-21 level in September as a reward for his form.
The right-back has even been linked with a move to a European giant such as Bayern Munich or Atletico Madrid. The asking price has already soared to above £20m – and if he does join a club of that stature, it may leave Chelsea with some regrets.
Now, Lamptey has explained why he chose to leave the Blues, despite having been there since the age of eight.
Lamptey told 90min: “I’m an ambitious boy. I look at things and enjoy them in the moment, but the next day I’m looking to see what I need to improve on and how I can stay at that level.
“I’m always looking for a chance to play again, and that moment made me even more hungry. I’d had a taste of it and I wasn’t going to let it go.
“I sat down with the coaches, family members and agents and thought about what’s best for me. It was a really tough decision.”
‘I thought about it every day’
Lamptey continued: “Being at a club since the age of nine, going up through the whole system and making your first-team debut, everything happened so quickly. But I had to look at where I would get the most football and how I could take my game to the next level.
“It wasn’t an easy decision. I thought about it every day. But the opportunity came for me to come to Brighton, which is a fantastic club with a really good plan for the team, and the move made a lot of sense.
“There was quite a few options to go to, but I sat down with my family and talked about where would be best for me, where could help me develop, and I thought Brighton would be the best club for me.”