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When the transfer window officially opens, Premier League newcomers Brighton and Hove Albion will complete the signing of young Celtic defender Josh Kerr.
The 19-year-old right-sided player is out of contract at Parkhead this summer and will sign for the south coast side on a two-year deal for an undisclosed amount of compensation. Kerr will initially link up with Brighton’s under-23 squad with a view to pushing into Brighton’s first team over the next year or so.
The club already have high hopes for the player and are already thinking of next season. What do we know about Albion’s latest acquisition though? Here are a few things:
Kerr played at Celtic for their youth teams for over 5 years, representing them in the UEFA Youth Champions League against the likes of Barcelona. The boy from Coatbridge started out at Hamilton Academical before moving to Celtic and did play in Scotland’s lower leagues for half a season on loan at East Kilbride.
Kerr is equally effective at centre-back or right-back and is comfortable in possession. Despite playing mostly as a full-back, Brighton may hope that he is eventually someone who can play as a ball-playing centre-back alongside Lewis Dunk. Defenders of this type are valuable in the Premier League and if Kerr’s progression remains constant, he will get his chance in the big time before too long.
Kerr, his family and his agent will have plenty of individual targets on their agenda. The first was getting a move to England which offers more long-term prospects, which has already been achieved. The young defender will next look to establish himself in Brighton’s under-23 squad, just like what fellow ex-Celtic youth defender Stuart Findlay has done at Newcastle United.
From there, appearances in domestic cup competitions for Brighton’s first team will be sought, along with possible appearances for the Scotland under-21 outfit. Once Kerr gets himself into Brighton’s first team, surely he will look to secure a regular place in Scotland’s full international team.
Whatever level he eventually achieves, there is no doubt that Kerr has a bright future and he is a very interesting signing for Brighton, who know fully well that they need to be clever when it comes to recruiting their new talent since their budget is not huge. That they may well miss out to the London clubs when going for similar players in the transfer market. So this is a good move by Brighton. Well done!