Poyet in search of replacement for injury victim LuaLua
Kazenga LuaLua still has ambitions to play again this season after breaking his ankle in Brighton’s defeat at Hartlepool.
An initial prognosis has revealed that the Newcastle loanee faces a minimum of ten weeks on the sidelines, which means that he may have played his last game for Brighton this season.
LuaLua has been heavily influential in helping Brighton surge into a six-point lead at the head of League One and this has led to them becoming 7/4 to be crowned champions and secure promotion to the Championship.
However, his loan deal with Gus Poyet’s team was set to expire in January and he has already returned to Newcastle to discover the full extent of his injury and whether it will require surgery to repair.
Poyet has now set his sights on finding another loan replacement for the 19-year-old midfielder and is hoping to have competed a deal before their next League One game at home to Bristol Rovers.
He told BBC Sussex: “It’s bad news. It’s a big problem because he’s important for us.
“We’re going to move very quickly. We need a player this week. We need to cover the position.”
It has been LuaLua’s directness and pace that has proved especially beneficial for Brighton this season, as it offers Poyet something different from the other midfielders in his squad.
LuaLua has been particularly influential when being utilised as a substitute to take advantage of fatiguing opposition and has four goals in 11 appearances this season.
One name that has been thrown up as a possible replacement is Barcelona youth prospect Sergi Roberto, who has already made his senior debut in the Spanish Cup.
The loss to Hartlepool was only Brighton’s second defeat of the campaign, which is a record that can only be matched by Colchester, who are 25/1 to win League One. See the full League One winners betting odds market.