Chelsea youngster Tariq Lamptey has shocked Frank Lampard by turning down a new deal with the Blues and agreeing to join rival Premier League side Brighton this month instead.
The 19-year-old was due to be out of contract with Chelsea in the summer window but there was confidence within the club that he could be convinced to remain at the club.
Lampard brought Lamptey on against Arsenal in the Premier League and he helped turn the match around late on, winning 2-1, while he has also played in both their FA Cup games this campaign.
But according to Goal.com, Lamptey informed the club that he would not be signing an extension, prompting Chelsea to accept an offer from Brighton to allow him leave this month.
The teenager believes he is ready for first-team football and sees Brighton – who have been searching for a new right-back – as the right next step in his development.
Lamptey’s exit is a huge blow for Chelsea, though, with Frank Lampard a big fan, while the blues always felt he would not leave his boyhood club.
Rather than risk losing Lamptey for nothing in the summer, Chelsea – who already have the exceptional young defender Reece James competing for right-back – cashed in, though they did so reluctantly.
Lampard had hoped to convince Lamptey to remain at Stamford Bridge, saying after his cameo against Arsenal: ‘We’ll see, he’s talking with the club and hopefully he feels a bit of love that we’ve parachuted him in.
‘I’d seen him when I was doing my coaching badges and you do a lot of hours with the academy and youth team. I saw him train a lot and I know he has a different dimension as a right-sided wing-back.
‘He has pace, a low centre of gravity and can go by people. Of course he wants to work on his end product and all the last bits.’