Brighton boss Graham Potter makes Neal Maupay admission after 'frustration' claims

Graham Potter revealed Brighton & Hove Albion forward Neal Maupay has been ‘frustrated’ by his lack of playing time in recent weeks but stressed the Frenchman has been key to the club’s success this season.

The 25-year-old began the 2021-22 campaign in blistering form, bagging four goals in his opening six games.

Maupay then endured a six-game barren spell before netting three goals in as many games in December.

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But following his strike at Brentford on Boxing Day, the centre forward went another six games without a goal.

Graham Potter revealed Brighton & Hove Albion forward Neal Maupay has been ‘frustrated’ by his lack of playing time in recent weeks but stressed the Frenchman has been key to the club’s success this season. Picture by Julian Finney/Getty Images

He broke that duck in a 2-0 victory at Watford on February 12 but that would prove to be his only Premier League goal in 2022.

Maupay has failed to find the net in his last 11 games, and has subsequently lost his place in Potter’s starting line-up.

Danny Welbeck, who has netted six goals this season, two less than Maupay, has been the Albion head coach’s preferred striking option during the run-in.

But the French forward, who finished as Brighton’s joint-top goalscorer alongside Leandro Trossard, looked lively coming off the bench on Sunday against West Ham United.

Maupay, who took to the field in the second half, helped his teammates recover from a goal down to win 3-1 at the Amex on the final day of the campaign.

Seagulls head coach Potter said: “He’s been an important player for us during the season. It just so happens that, tactically, we’ve maybe used different options.

“It’s nothing against Neal. We know his quality and he’s scored some really important goals for us.

“Players want to play and they get frustrated and part of the job is dealing with that frustration.

“If you want to be a regular in the Premier League and play regardless it isn’t so easy.

“But I’m pleased for Neal. He’s finished off the season playing and helping the team, which is, in fairness, what he’s done all season.”