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Brighton and Hove Albion have agreed on a deal to bring Colombian winger Jose Izquierdo from Brugge in a transfer which will break their previous club record.
The 25-year-old, who likes to start down the left-hand side, and who could also be a good foil for Anthony Knockaert on the right, looks like he is heading to the Seagulls in the coming days, having met with Seagulls’ representatives in Belgium to thrash out the deal.
That deal is believed to be worth around £13.5million and Brighton confirmed on their own social media channels that a deal had been agreed and the player’s arrival is imminent.
It looks now as though all that is left is the player’s medical in order to conclude the deal as well as a work permit being agreed. But all being well, Izquierdo should be a Brighton player by the end of this week.
The winger has managed an international goal for Colombia having been capped by them twice so far and looks like breaking a transfer record at the Amex which has stood for less than a week so far – the previous record having been the transfer of Davy Propper from PSV Eindhoven for around £6million.
So, are Brighton correct in paying so much for Izquierdo? Given his record in Belgium and the fact that the Seagulls need to add quality in order to survive, I’d say £13.5million is not too bad an investment. The winger’s overall profile is that of a loyal and committed player; 83 games in a 4-year stay at Deportivo Pereira was followed up by a one-year, 45-game stay at Once Caldas which led to a bid from Club Brugge.
Having signed for the Belgians three years ago, Izquierdo went on to make 111 appearances in Brugge including 18 games in European competition, scoring a total of 38 goals from out wide. Even in First Division A, that is a great record for an improving player playing on the wing and he may yet take a few people by surprise.
Furthermore, average Premier League players are now going for around £20million-£40million in a transfer market which has gone completely mental in recent times and frankly £13m+ is not a huge fee to pay on that basis. Rather it is frugal and if Izquierdo goes on to realise his huge potential while at Brighton, that club record fee is going to look like a bargain.