Graham Potter explains why Brighton defender Haydon Roberts didn't go out on loan this season

With Covid, injuries and suspension taking it's toll on Brighton's squad, their talented young defender Haydon Roberts is in contention for his first Premier League start against Wolves at the Amex Stadium on Wednesday

Haydon Roberts is in contention to feature against Wolves at the Amex Stadium on Wednesday night
Haydon Roberts is in contention to feature against Wolves at the Amex Stadium on Wednesday night

Roberts, 19, enjoyed a successful loan in League One with Rochdale last season and many thought the left footed defender would be out once again this campaign - perhaps with a Championship club.

Roberts however stayed and trained with the first team and has been included in many of the Premier League matchday squads this season.

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He featured in the Carabao Cup matches but has yet to see Premier League action.

But with Shane Duffy suspended, Lewis Dunk and Adam Webster ruled out with injury, plus Joel Veltman battling a knock to the ankle sustained at Southampton, Roberts could be called upon to face a potent Wolves attack, including the likes of Adama Traore and Hwang.

Albion head coach Graham Potter said, "He’s been training with us all season. We understand his qualities, he’s got a nice future ahead of him. He’s still learning and developing, but he’s in contention.

"There are lots of factors to consider," added Potter when asked why Roberts wasn't loaned out this season.

"Firstly, there may or may not be the right loan move for him. There's also a benefit of training everyday with the likes of Danny Welbeck, Adam Lallana, against Neal Maupay, against guys that are playing in the Premier League, Leo Trossard etc.

"It's a good way for players to develop. You've got to monitor that, because you don't want that to carry on too long. Players need to play as well, so it's a fine balance between games and training, developing and competing in the Premier League.

"What we've seen with Haydon is he's got some really good attributes and in some ways he's competing really well. At the same time as well there are probably a couple of steps that he will take, but that's just normal because of how old he is."

Potter also admitted the current covid situation could have implications on future loans as clubs look to bolster their squad to cover potential absentees.

"Without zooming into specifics, probably yes. You would have to think that way. That's a way of maybe increasing your squad or covering yourself.

"At the moment, everything's a bit hypothetical. The problem I guess we all have is most of our brain is still in pre-Covid time and probably a bit of us is thinking let's just hope it gets back to normal, but there isn't too much sign of that.

"And therefore, how are we going to exist in this Covid world now and how does that change our thinking?

"It's the same for football teams, for businesses, for everybody. Our thinking pre-Covid is not that relevant to now, because the situation's changed."