Brighton transfer news: Aaron Connolly January exit latest amid Arsenal Eddie Nketiah link

Graham Potter said after the Brentford match Aaron Connolly was left out of the matchday squad for tactical reasons but it seems the Ireland international could be set for a January exit

Aaron Connolly has been linked with a January move away from the Amex Stadium
Aaron Connolly has been linked with a January move away from the Amex Stadium

Connolly, 21, has had a frustrating season and has had little game time thanks to niggling injuries, loss of form and Potter favouring other options.

The striker had a rare start and played for 60 minutes in the 1-0 loss against Wolves but struggled against a well-drilled defence.

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He looked a dejected figure as he was replaced by Potter and trudged back on to the bench.

Earlier this season his Ireland manager Stephen Kenny suggested Albion's academy graduate should look to go out on loan to a Championship side in order to play regular football.

Potter at the time said he respected Kenny's opinion but didn't agree with it and that Connolly should keep working hard and his chances will come.

Unfortunately for Connolly, that has not been the case and despite a long-term injury to experienced front runner Danny Welbeck, Connolly has had limited time on the pitch.

The young striker added to speculation of a move to Middlesbrough this week when he followed Chris Wilder's Championship team on Instagram.

Connolly was also left out of Potter's matchday squad for the 2-0 win against Brentford on Boxing Day - with 17-year-old striker Evan Ferguson selected instead.

The Ireland international has yet to score in the Premier League this season but netted a brace in a 2-0 Carabao Cup win against Swansea earlier this season.

He is contracted with Brighton until June 2024 but a loan to Middlesbrough - who are chasing promotion to the Premier League - could be just the thing to kick-start his career.

Eddie Nketiah

Brighton continue to be linked with a move for a striker this January - with Arsenal's Eddie Nketiah said to be at the top of the list.

The 22-year-old is out of contract with the Gunners this summer and January will be Arsenal's final chance to receive a fee for the player who has made just three Premier League appearances this season, all from the bench.

He has however featured in Mikel Arteta's Carabao Cup line-ups and has impressed with five goals in three matches.

He also has 16 goals in 17 appearances for England under-21s and his age fits the profile of Brighton's recent signings.

Albion have brought in the likes of Tariq Lamptey, Alexis Mac Allister, Jakub Moder and Marc Cucrella and Potter has given them the opportunity to improve and thrive in the Premier League.

Brighton are one of the lowest scorers in the division with 16 this season - but with Neal Maupay finding some form of late and Welbeck returning from injury, the club may be reluctant to spend big in January.

Leeds and Aston Villa have also been linked with Nketiah who could be available for around £10m