Graham Potter addresses Danny Welbeck contract talks ahead of Newcastle

Brighton and Hove Albion head coach Graham Potter highlighted the importance of Danny Welbeck to his team but remained tight lipped on his future beyond this season

Danny Welbeck's contract expires in June 2021

Albion signed the former Manchester United and Arsenal striker last October on a one-year contract after he terminated his deal with Watford by mutual consent.

Welbeck has scored twice in 15 appearances for Albion and has just returned to full fitness following a lengthy spell out of the team with a knee injury sustained last December.

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The 30-year-old started against Southampton last weekend and played a vital part in the winning goal as his clever touch teed-up Leo Trossard to smash home a second half winner.

Welbeck's contract runs until June 2021 and Potter and the club will have to make a big decision on the striker who has scored 16 goals for England from his 42 international appearances.

"I think he's going to be a really, really important player for the next 10 matches," said Potter ahead of this Saturday's match against Newcastle at the Amex.

"We need to get the points to achieve the goals and the targets that we have got and Danny knows he will play a huge part in that.

"And then at the end of the season we will sit down and talk about what the right thing for everyone to do is. But at the moment he is incredibly important for us.

"He's a great lad, a great person around the group and it's nice to see him out on the pitch and helping the team."

Welbeck was pleased to be back in the starting line-up against Southampton and hopes to help Brighton move further away from the relegation zone against Newcastle this Saturday.

“After a bit of a setback when I was returning from injury, it was nice to get back into the starting 11 – it was my first start for a little while but I felt good. I feel strong and I am looking forward to next week.

"The pressure is on us every single game now, but we need to relish the pressure, relish the challenge and the win against Southampton really boosts confidence in the team.

“We're all looking forward to the rest of the season, obviously the Newcastle game is at the forefront of our minds but we'll be ready after a good week of training."