Hughton praises Propper's progress

Chris Hughton has praised the impact of Davy Propper at Brighton this season and admits the Dutch midfielder has probably gone under the radar.

Davy Propper. Picture by Phil Westlake (PW Sporting Photography)
Davy Propper. Picture by Phil Westlake (PW Sporting Photography)

Propper has established a strong partnership with Dale Stephens in the middle of the park after joining the Seagulls for £10m from PSV Eindhoven last summer.

The 26-year-old is yet to score for Albion in 35 games, despite having three goals in ten caps for the Netherlands and after netting 16 times in 67 league matches for PSV.

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Brighton boss Hughton said: "He has got a lot of flexibility in the way he plays and the positioning he plays.

"I have now seen him play numerous roles in that central midfield. He has played in a three, in a two, and of course played in a holding role.

"I am aware of his progress here. If you are looking at where he was when he first came to where he is now, I think his performances have improved over the season.

"I think that is getting used to the league and playing regularly and the way we want to play.

"If you have got somebody who is playing regularly and playing well, it is a nice level for him to step into international football."

Alan Shearer pinpointed Propper and Stephens' performances for Albion after the 2-1 win over Arsenal earlier this month and asked if Propper has gone under the radar this season, Hughton said: "I think so, but probably both of them when you consider that they have played more or less every game together this season.

"I think that comes with us being Brighton. And that I don’t mind.

"If I look at our season, if we had started really well, above people’s expectations and had been in a good position in the league, possibly the highlight would have been more on them. But we quite like that. I think it helps. We were aware of what Dale gives us."

On Propper not finding the back of the net this season, Hughton explained: "The big difference is that PSV played three in midfield which would have given him more scope, and PSV were a top-three club and he could play with more freedom than a central midfielder with newly-promoted Brighton could do.

"It’s more to do with his role and what we ask of him. But outside the top six there aren’t so many teams that have goalscoring central midfield players. But yes, some goals would be nice if only from set plays. But it’s probably what we ask of both of them."

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