Brighton defender departs as Graham Potter shapes his squad for new season

Albion continue their preparations for the new Premier League campaign with another tweak to their defence

Brighton and Hove Albion head coach Graham Potter
Brighton and Hove Albion head coach Graham Potter

Defender Martin Montoya has joined La Liga side Real Betis in a permanent move.

The former Barcelona man signed for Albion from Valencia in 2018 for £6m, and leaves having made 57 appearances in all competitions for the club.

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He made 23 starts under Graham Potter last season but the emergence of Tariq Lamptey, who impressed greatly for Brighton after lockdown, appears to have paved the way for Montoya's departure.

Dutch international defender Joel Veltman, who arrived on a free transfer from Ajax earlier this summer, can also play at right back and offers Pooter further options in that area.

Former Man City and West Ham boss Manuel Pellegrini was keen to bolster the Real Betis defence following the exits of Zou Feddal to Sporting Lisbon and Antonio Barragan on a free transfer.

Montoya returns to Betis, where he enjoyed a successful loan spell from Barcelona in 2016.

Albion head coach Graham Potter said, “I would like to place on record my thanks to Martin for his service and professionalism to the club over the past two years.

Martin Montoya made 57 appearances in all competitions for the club.

“Over the past two seasons Martin has played his part in helping the club maintain its Premier League status, and on behalf of all at the club we wish him all the success for the future.”

The terms of the deal are undisclosed.

Shane Duffy continues to be linked with a move away from the Amex, with West Ham or Celtic his most likely destination while West Brom remain keen on bringing Albion No 2 goalkeeper David Button to the Hawthorns in a £1m deal.