Worrying state of play with Brighton's £7m striker and why he is returning early from Championship loan

Brighton and Hove Albion's £7m summer deadline day signing will return earlier than expected from his scheduled season long in the Championship after a succession of injuries

Abdallah Sima has returned to Brighton for treatment after frustrating injuries on loan to Stoke
Abdallah Sima has returned to Brighton for treatment after frustrating injuries on loan to Stoke

Sima joined Albion on deadline day last summer for around £7m and was immediately sent on loan to the Championship with Michael O'Neill's Stoke.

It has however proved a frustrating time for the 20-year-old who arrived from Salvia Prague with a glowing reputation and was compared with West Ham's powerhouse striker Michail Antonio.

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Sima made his first league start for the Potters way back in September but has not featured since due to ankle, pelvic, back and groin problems.

His confidence was boosted when he scored twice for Stoke's under-23s earlier this month but getting up to speed for the rigours of the Championship has proved problematic.

He will now return from his loan - on a temporary basis - and the Brighton medical staff will get to work and see if they can get to grips Sima's injury issues.

Albion are also short on strikers themselves and a fully fit and firing Sima could be a useful option for head coach Graham Potter as Danny Welbeck (hamstring) and Neal Maupay (illness) continue to work their way back to fitness.

The situation is however complicated as Fifa rules state players can only represent two clubs in a season - and Sima has now played for Slavia Prague and Stoke.

Brighton and Stoke are said to be in talks and will work out a plan to get Sima up to speed and playing first team football for Stoke.

The Senegal star was an impressive performer in Prague last term as he scored 16 goals and made seven assists in 39 games for the Czech double winners. He was in high demad last summer but Brighton won the race for his signature and he joined on a four-year deal.

Stoke boss O'Neill said: “He’s had quite a lot of problems which are pelvic related which then translate into pain in his groins and pain in his back so we’ve sent him back to Brighton for a few days to let their medical team have a look at him.

“Unfortunately we’ve not had what we would have hoped out of him. His loan is for a season but those are discussions that we will have with Brighton and see what we feel is the best solution for everyone concerned and the boy in particular.

“He has a situation where he has played for two clubs this season, Slavia Prague and ourselves, so that’s an added complication in that situation.”

Brighton defender Leo Ostigard is also on loan at Stoke for the season. The 22-year-old Norwegian has made 15 appearances and scored once so far this campaign.