Abdallah Sima and Kaoru Mitoma: Have Brighton's £10m loan duo impressed at Stoke City and Union Saint-Gilloise since their summer arrivals?

There has been plenty of talk of Brighton's need to go all out for a striker this January but the club did sign two attacking talents in the previous window

Kaoru Mitoma has shown his potential while on loan in Belgium
Kaoru Mitoma has shown his potential while on loan in Belgium

Abdallah Sima joined from for around £7m from Slavia Prague while Japan international Kaoru Mitoma arrived from J1 League side Kawasaki Frontale for £3.5m.

The duo were immediately sent out on loan as Graham Potter entrusted his Premier League attacking responsibilities to Neal Maupay, Leo Trossard, Aaron Connolly and Jurgen Locadia.

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Maupay has enjoyed success with six goals this season and Trossard - who injured his elbow at Southampton last Saturday - has chipped in three. Welbeck has just one to his name and has been missing with a long term hamstring problem, while Connolly has struggled for form and fitness.

Abdallah Sima has been hindered by injury during his time at Stoke

Locadia has only seen a brief spell of action as a late sub during the 0-0 at Leeds while the unfortunate Jeremy Sarmiento pulled up with a serious hamstring problem after just 13 minutes of his first Premier League start at West Ham.

So with goals hard to come by and injuries mounting, it's worth taking a look at the progress of Albion's £10m worth of striking talent currently out on loan and perhaps hoping for a Premier League chance in January

Abdallah Sima:

Having joined Brighton from Slavia Prague in the summer, forward Abdallah Sima has been sent on loan to Championship side Stoke for the season.

The 20-year-old impressed at Slavia, across 39 appearances in all competitions last season, the Senegalese international scored an impressive 20 goals, and registered 8 assists.

At such a young age, Sima’s numbers more than hint at a big future. The young forwards contributions last season helped Slavia Prague to an invincible domestic season, winning a league and cup double.

However, life at Stoke has not gone how he would have hoped. Very little playing time this season has halted Sima’s development.

Only two championship appearances (14 minutes against Barnsley and 59 minutes against Derby), 2 Carabao cup appearances (just 23 minutes against Watford and 27 minutes against Brentford) and a single appearance for the clubs under-23’s, in which he found the net twice, his only goals this season.

An ankle injured picked up against Derby in the early stages of the season has kept Sima out of action for a long period, the forward only just getting back to fitness with his appearance in the reserves.

His brace in that game could prove timely, with a busy Christmas period coming up for Stoke, Stoke manager Michael O’Neill has been reminded that the youngster is capable of scoring goals and is ready to get his Championship career back on track.

To open the scoring in the game, Sima showed good anticipation, the first to react to the goalkeeper’s parry to prod the ball in.

Four minutes later he had his second, emphatically firing the ball first time into the top corner. Hopefully this display will see the young forward get some more minutes in the first team this season, and continue his development. January loan recall looks highly unlikely.

Kaoru Mitoma

Signing from J1 League side Kawasaki Frontale, Kaoru Mitoma has been loaned for the season to Union Saint-Gilloise in the Belgian Pro League, who currently sit top of the league.

The forward had an impressive break-out season last campaign which saw him score 18 goals and provide 13 assists in just 37 appearances in all competitions.

This fine form was key to Frontale’s success, winning a league and cup double, and setting the records for the fastest league win and highest number of points. It was also key in seeing him secure a move to Brighton.

This season Mitoma has scored four goals and registered one assist in his 11 league appearances so far, with one goal in his two appearances in the cup.

Having been gradually integrated into the first team, the Japanese forward is now carving out a permanent place in the starting 11 thanks to one performance in particular.

Against R.F.C Seraing his side were down two nil and down to 10 men; Mitoma came off the bench to score a hat-trick in a stunning four-two comeback win.

His goals displayed some neat finishing and impressive driving runs, which will have Brighton fans eager to see him in the Premier League next season.

The hat-trick earned him his first league start of the season in the next game, with the winger having now started in four of the last six league games, his other seven league appearances having come off the bench.

Calls from Brighton fans to recall the winger (harder than it seems as the player does not yet possess a work permit to play in England) were the result of the hat-trick and a successful international debut, coming from the bench against Oman in a World Cup qualifier to assist the only goal of the game, sending Japan top of their group;

Brighton boss Graham Potter was asked about Mitoma’s hat-trick and responded ““It has been mentioned. It’s fantastic – fantastic for him, for Union as well… he is an exciting player”.